Genetically modified maize, Bacillus Thuringiensis (BT) could be Kenya’s silver bullet in the fight against Fall Armyworm which has so far destroyed more than 200,000 acres of maize farms since 2016.
The biologically modified seed is incorporated with specific protein content that chocks the worm which continues to wreak havoc across Africa.
The maize variety first came to Kenya through African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) IN 2012 under a public-private partnership project, Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA).
[T]echnical operations director at AATF Emmanuel Okogbenin said that Kenya and Africa can best tackle the issue of Fall Armyworm through biotechnology.
He said BT maize has already been tested in various markets across the world prevalent with the pest and has proved effective. He added that the variety has helped farmers in Brazil and South Africa minimize on use of pesticides and increase productivity.
“The adoption of Bt maize together with excellent soil management practices can see Kenya increase its productivity by four folds and cut on importation. The variety only chock targeted pests and has no impact on beneficial insects and has no health implication on consumers,’’ said Okogbenin.
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