NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenyan farmers are gearing up for the
commercialization of biotech crops in order to boost yields,
officials said on Monday.
chairman of the Society for Biotech Farmers of Kenya (SOBIFAK),
said in Nairobi that productivity in key crops such as cotton
and maize is declining due to challenges such as destruction by
“We are eagerly
waiting for commercialization of biotech crops that are pest and
drought resistant in order to boost farmers’ productivity,”
According to the
ministry of agriculture, trials are currently ongoing for
so-called Bt cotton, which could be available to farmers in
2020. Biotech research is also underway for maize, cassava and
Magondu said a
rapidly expanding population, coupled with dwindling land sizes
for agriculture, requires that Kenya explores opportunities
provided by science, technology and innovations to boost output.
climate-smart agriculture could not only benefit small-scale
farmers but the overall economy as a whole, he said.
principal investigator for biotech maize in Kenya, noted that
transgenic drought-tolerant maize could boost output by over 30
percent as compared to current yields.
He said Bt maize
could transform Kenya from a maize importer to a surplus