- GM will Help Revive Textile Industry
By ScienceAfrica Team (B. Mukatia,
2- June, 2014 - 13
Governors have joined scientists and researchers in the call of government to lift the ban on importation of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) amid fears of looming food insecurity and declining agricultural productivity in the country. The Governors from cotton growing counties led by Jack Ranguma, chairman of the Health and
The Governors told those attending
Kisumu Governor Jack Ranguma called on the government to lift the ban on the importation of genetically modified food saying it will revive the cotton industry in the country. "We are ready in promoting the use of agricultural biotechnology to enhance food security in our counties," the Governor said.
He told Kenyan to shun rumors linked to false research against biotechnology and people who turn a blind eye to some of the obvious advantages of GMOs including improved food security, economy or income. Nations that lead in food production and exports have embraced biotechnology, he added.
The governor who termed the ban "emotional" said the decision was made in disregard of professional advice from relevant government agencies.
"Statistics have shown that the world will not be able to feed itself by 2030 if we do not go GMO," he said. "Scientists of repute all over the world say GMO is safe. It is important that we embrace what science tells us," he added.
"Bt. (GM) cotton will reduce the number of sprays from twelve to three which is value for the farmer," he said. "Unless we move in that direction, we will not be able to feed the world, he added.
Bt cotton has gone through the laboratory phase, the supervision phase, several confined field trials supervised by
KARI Thika Centre Director, Dr.
The then Cabinet Minister for Health
A number of GM crops are currently under biosafety trials where scientists are evaluating traits such as insect, disease and virus resistance, drought tolerance and bio-fortification. The agricultural sector contributes 24 per cent of GDP and provides livelihoods of over 80 per cent of the Kenyan population.
The textile industry was the leading manufacturing industry in the country supporting more than 200,000 households. But the mid - 1980s saw the start of a downward spiral with the importation of used clothes and liberalization of the economy which has seen Asian textiles flood the market.
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