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Meridian Institute

Kenya Farmers Pray for Genetically Modified Seeds to Fight Drought

Summary posted by Meridian on 5/17/2017

Source: World News (15 May 2017)

Author(s): Ronald Njoroge

Margaret Simiyu, a smallholder farmer in Kenya, is looking at another failed maize crop due to ongoing drought. She said she is seeking solutions in science and technology to help her remain a viable small-scale farmer. “I hope the government will soon allow the commercialization of Genetically Modified (GM) maize that is drought resistant," said Simiyu. Millions of other small-scale farmers, this article states, are banking on biotech maize seeds to help improve their productivity. The ongoing drought has caused low maize production in Kenya, resulting in a country set to import millions of bags of maize in the next two months. Kenya has been conducting field trials of genetically modified (GM) crops for over seven years, yet none have been approved for commercial cultivation. In 2012, the country issued a ban on the import of GM foods. Gilbert Bor is another farmer eager to adopt the use of transgenic maize. "I am also hopeful that other farmers in Kenya will take up the technology once the government approves the release of the GM maize," Bor said. In his many decades of farming, he added, he has seen the growth and adoption of hybrid maize. "I have seen maize production increase every year to the extent that in my own family and neighbors, it was rare to find families without food. However the recurring drought calls for the adoption of even better seed varieties. So, when there is a new technology in the market, we would like to move along with it as we trust science as farmers," Bor said.

The original article may still be available at https://article.wn.com/view/2017/05/13/Kenya_farmers_pray_for_Genetically_Modified_seeds_to_fight_d/

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