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New transgenic cotton variety soon for Kenyan farmers
Aug '17
A genetically-modified cotton variety with high resistance to boll worm infestation will be released to farmers in Kenya soon. The high-yielding, drought-resistant Bt cotton, which is being cultivated in Burkina Faso and South Africa, brings high financial returns, according to Charles Waturu, director of Horticultural Research Institute in Thika.

The variety will be initially released to farmers in dry irrigation areas of the coastal region for seed breeding purpose as part of the pilot project and rolled out later to all other cotton-producing counties, a news agency report from Kenya quoted Waturu as saying.

The horticulturist, while speaking at a recent national training and awareness programme for farmers on transgenic crops in Sagana town, said the transgenic variety requires two sprays of pesticides compared to 15 for the traditional one. Due to the high reproduction rate of the boll worm and self protection mechanism, its chemical control was difficult and many farmers have abandoned cotton farming, he added.

Waturu said the government has already established a task force that is working for a roadmap towards the expected release of the Bt cotton seed to the farmers by 2019.

The transgenic cotton variety also attracted honey bees during the flowering stage, which offered quality honey to the farmers. (DS)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk — India

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