In the Media

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In the Media

Researchers urged to ensure improved seeds they produce reach farmers

By Daniel Semberya

Africa is a drought-prone continent, making farming risky for millions of smallholder farmers who rely on rainfall to water their crops. Maize is the most widely grown staple crop in Africa – more than 300 million Africans depend on it as their main food source – and it is severely affected by frequent drought. Drought leads to crop failure, hunger, and poverty.


Agency approves cultivation trials for GMO maize

The National Biosafety Authority (NBA) has authorised national field cultivation trials for GMO maize.

In a statement well-received by pro-GMO organisations that contend that Kenya’s population demand for food can best be met via adoption of GMO products, NBA chief executive Dr Willy Tonui said the approval only allowed for strictly field trials.

The National Biosafety Authority chief executive Willy Tonui. PHOTO | FILE


Lobby develops high-yield maize variety

By Munene Kamau

A non-governmental organisation has developed a maize variety which could increase production and ensure food security.

The Integrated Community Organisation for Sustainable Empowerment and Education for Development (Icoseed) in corroboration with the Kenya Agricultural Research and Livestock Organization(Karlo) has developed water-efficient maize, which can survive and produce high yields under harsh climatic conditions.


Scientists allowed to release GMO seeds for field trials

The National Biosafety Authority (NBA) has allowed researchers to release Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) crop for field trials, marking a new turn is the raging debate over adoption of biotechnology plants.

NBA board met on Thursday last week and made the decision following the application by a group of scientists seeking the permission for the release of the crop for field trials.


Kenya Has Capacity to Grow GMOs, Parliamentarians Say

Ten Kenyan parliamentarians drawn from various house committees have assured scientists of their support in biotech research. They said this after touring various agri-biotechnology research facilities during a biotechnology travelling workshop in Nairobi organized by ISAAA AfriCenter, the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) together with Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) and the National Commission for Science Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI) with partners.


EDITORIAL: Discuss GMO robustly


A request by scientists to the biosafety regulator for the release of genetically modified maize seeds is bound to reignite debate on just how tightly the country should embrace biotechnology.

The Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organisation and the African Agriculture Technology Foundation have been researching on the production of insect-protected maize since 2007, followed by field trials in 2012.


New GMO maize ready for Kenya

Scientists are lobbying for approval to commercialise a genetically modified maize variety.

“Globally, Bt maize has been proven to effectively control stem borer and improve maize grain yield and quality due to reduced pest damage,” Eliud Kireger said yesterday.

Kireger, the director general of the Kenya Agricultural Livestock and Research Organisation, spoke at Kalro headquarters.

The National Biosafety Authority published a notification last week seeking views from members of the public on approval of Bt maize.


Efforts Underway to Develop Maize Varieties Tolerant to Drought, Pests

As effects of climate change continue to hit farmers growing cereal crops, especially maize, scientists in a number of African countries are trying to develop drought-resistant varieties to overcome this challenge. Increasing incidences of drought in Africa are affecting maize production, a major staple crop, which resulted in frequent crop failures. However, the challenge in plant breeding is developing maize that is tolerant to drought.


Here comes drought-tolerant hybrid maize varieties

On January 10 this year, Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) project in Tanzania, in collaboration with the Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH) and the Ministry for Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperative through its department of Research Development (DRD) demonstrated new three drought tolerant hybrid maize varieties to seed companies. Correspondent, GERALD KITABU interviewed WEMA project manager, Dr. Sylvester Oikeh, on various issues concerning the project. Excerpts:


WEMA partnership celebrates 5th anniversary

Maize continues to be the most widely grown staple crop in Africa, with more than 300 million people depending on it as their main food source.



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