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Kenyan farmers to start growing GM cotton by 2014

02
Mar '12
According to a Kenyan research institute, farmers are likely to embark on growing genetically modified (GM) cotton in the country by 2014.

As revealed by the researchers at the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI), they are awaiting the nod from National Biosafety Authority, prior to entering into contracts with farmers for undertaking GM cotton cultivation.

The National Biosafety Authority is the chief regulator in Kenya authorized to approve GM products.

KARI's Thika centre Director, Dr. Charles Waturu said it has been proved by their survey that GM cotton has the potential to reduce the high cost of production that cotton farmers in the country are enduring at present.

Addressing a biotechnology meet organised by the Ministry of Agriculture and the University of Nairobi in Kisumu, Dr. Waturu said they have selected 06k485, 06k486 and 06k487 as the highest quality cotton varieties which would be used to grow GM cotton in the country.

He added that the seeds would be multiplied manifold in the country, which would serve to establish Kenya as the regional supplier of the same.

The GM cotton seeds would be of better quality than those presently available in the market, he informed.

He further said that contracted farmers would be asked to produce the cotton seeds that would be used in the next cultivation season.

The Director said the seeds would be distributed through ginners in association with Cotton Development Authority to ensure proper auditing and to curb misuse.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India


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