Kenyan approval opens door to spring planting of country’s first GMO, insect resistant Bt cotton that increases yields by 300%

| | January 6, 2020
Image: Tom Otieno/National Media Group
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

The government is set to provide …. the initial BT cotton seeds to farmers to plant during the forthcoming March/April long rains, a lead Crop Researcher, Dr. Charles Waturu has confirmed.

Waturu said following the approval by the Cabinet …. that the variety was safe for commercial farming in the country, there was now an elaborate plan for mass production of the seeds by both small scale and commercial farmers.

“By 2025 we will have produced enough hybrid seeds for all the farmers across the country as we embark on the fulfillment of manufacturing which is one of the Big 4 agenda President Uhuru Kenyatta is seeking to realize before leaving office,” Waturu said.

Related article:  India's pro-GMO cotton farmers make case for relaxed biotech crop rules to prime minister

He said the news of the lifting of the GMO restrictions by the government after a Cabinet meeting [in late December 2019] was the best Christmas gift to both cotton farmers and the textile industry players in the country.

Waturu …. said ginneries which have either been dormant or under-operated will after the first crop [is] harvested next year become vibrant …. Local research he said has demonstrated Bt-Cotton yields three times more than current conventional varieties and takes between 130- 180 days to mature.

Read full, original article: Farmers To Start Planting BT Cotton Early Next Year

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