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Kenya awaits Biosafety legislation to mass produce Bt cotton
10
Aug '10
As Kenya takes on biotech cotton (Bt cotton) production in the country, the country's cotton production is set to grow by six times through 2012.

However, prior to extensive cultivation of Bt cotton, the country is still looking forward for the enactment of the Biosafety Act, the regulations of which are scheduled to be gazetted by the end of this month. The legislation, amongst others will also permit commercialization of GM cotton.

Kenya, next to South Africa and Burkina Faso will be the third country in the continent to cultivate biotech cotton, and the first one in Central and East Africa to commercialize the same.

Charles Waturu, Centre Director, Kenya Agricultural Research Institute in Thika said that, the move will boost up the cotton production in the country from 50,000 bales to 300,000 bales a year, and would match cotton deficit in the country. More so, they are all set for commercialisation as well, unless faced by an obstacle.

It has already been proposed by a taskforce, which was constituted to lead the commercialization of GM cotton that, around 100,000 acres of land should be reserved to get the project going.

Dr Waturu, further added that, more that 30 percent of the overall cost of cotton production is diverted towards pest control.

Besides the above listed, other advantages of cultivating Bt cotton includes, better yields generating higher income for farmers, comparatively less requirement of labour contribution, minimal contact with dangerous chemicals, low level of water and environmental pollution as also an increment in the total acreage.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk - India


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