The GLP is committed to full transparency. Download and review our 2019 Annual Report

Kenya green lights GMO Bt cotton after successful 5-year field trial

| December 20, 2019

This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

The Kenyan Cabinet, chaired by President Uhuru Kenyatta, has approved the commercial planting of Bt cotton after the 5-year field trials showed positive results. The biotech crop is expected to increase the cotton production of Kenyan farmers and thus boost the manufacturing pillar of the Big 4 Agenda where it is stated that Kenya aims to become at the forefront of global textile and apparel production.

Researchers from Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization had announced that Bt cotton seeds will be available to farmers in 27 cotton-growing counties, by March 2020. The Bt cotton is developed through genetic engineering to confer resistance to African boll worm infestation.

Related article:  New investment rules would limit shareholder advocacy attempts to influence company stance on GMOs, climate change

According to the Fibre Crop Directorate, Kenya has about 50,000 cotton farmers who are only able to produce 30,000 bales against a yearly demand of 368,000 bales. Adoption of Bt cotton, which is resistant to the destructive African bollworm, is expected to boost productivity from the current estimate of 572 kg/ha to 2,500 kg/ha, and lower the cost of production by 40%. In 2018, biotech cotton was planted in 15 countries led by India, USA, China, Pakistan, and Brazil.

Read full, original article: Crop Biotech Update December 19, 2019

News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.

Send this to a friend