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Commercial Growing of GMO Cotton Begins

Kenya is ready to start growing genetically modified cotton on commercial basis.

The government Monday launched the planting of the Genetically Modified (GMO) Bt cotton seed. Some 1,000 farmers in 23 counties are targeted in the roll-out programme this planting season.

The Cabinet approved commercial farming of Bt cotton in December last year, partially lifting a ban on GMOs that has been in place since 2012.

In a programme backed by the Monsanto-affiliated Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Company, a select number of farmers in the traditional cotton growing areas will start planting the seed this season.

Cabinet Approval

Speaking at Alupe University College in Busia on Monday during the launch of the seeds, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya said counties with the most promising potential for cotton growing will be targeted.

“Apart from the Cabinet approval, all other policy ingredients, including the necessary legislation, are in place for the roll-out of the BT cotton,” said Mr Munya.

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