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Kenyan task force to commercialise transgenic cotton
Oct '17
Kenya recently set up a national task force to oversee the commercialisation of transgenic cotton in the next five years. According to cabinet secretary for agriculture, livestock and fisheries Willy Bett, Kenyan farmers will start cultivating Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) cotton in 2019 once the task force establishes structures to support that endeavour.

Controlled field trials of Bt cotton have been conducted since 2002 at Kenya Agricultural, Livestock Research Organization (KALRO)'s research centre at Mwea in central Kenya, where the plant performed well, Bett said. The trials are in the final stages now, according to a news agency report.

The government approved the field trial of Bt cotton in a gazette notice issued in September this year.

Kenya's cotton sector has performed poorly due to lack of quality seeds and high production costs, forcing the closure of ginneries and apparel units in western and coastal regions, where the crop has been grown for decades.

The country’s poverty reduction strategy of 2000-2003 identified cultivation of cotton as critical to the revival of economies of people living in marginalized regions. (DS)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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