Busia Governor tells gov’t to commercialise genetically modified cotton

Busia Governor, Sospeter Ojaamong at a previous function.
Busia Governor, Sospeter Ojaamong at a past function. PHOTO: File

Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong has asked the government to lift the ban on Genetically Modified (GM) food imports and allow commercialisation of GM cotton.

The governor said that genetically modified technology could be the key to reviving the cotton industry which is on the verge of collapse not only in Busia County, but also neighbouring counties that once depended on it.

The call to adoption of GM cotton was expressed during a half day awareness seminar on biotechnology, held at the Agricultural Training Centre, organised by Busia County in partnership with the Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB-Kenya).

Ojaamong said the farmers have had many problems including shortage of land which makes them practice agriculture that cannot earn them some good cash.

He added that agricultural biotechnology should be at the forefront in production systems due to the benefits it offers in producing disease-resistant and better quality seeds that will improve harvests.

The governor recognised the importance of awareness seminar on biotechnology in order to dispel untruthful reports spread by those opposed biotechnology and GMO.

He said there is need for a systematic approach towards adoption of GMO, which should begin by creating awareness on biotechnology among stakeholders in the agricultural sector.

The governor’s sentiments were emphasised by other speakers at the meeting, who lauded the positive socio economic impacts of genetically modified cotton on countries like India, Burkina Faso, Sudan and other developing countries.

They said genetically modified cotton has transformed the economies of such countries by changing the lives of their farmers for the better.

Scientists and regulators explained basics on developing genetically modified crops and safety assessments the government has put in place to ensure their safety.


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Story By Reuben Wanyama
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