Government announces plan to start commercial growing of GM cotton

The Government has Wednesday announced plans to start commercial growing of Bt cotton, or genetically modified (GM) cotton.

Charles Waturu, Principal Investigator of GM cotton project, said that the government is expected to release the Bt cotton seeds to 1,000 demonstration sites in all parts of cotton-growing areas by November.

The official said a final report on the second National Performance Trials that have been going on in the country will be submitted to National Performance Trials Committee by September.

“The process will then be approved by National Biosafety Authority (NBA) for environmental release and placement on the market,” Waturu told cotton stakeholders in Nairobi.

He revealed that the hybrid variety will then be registered by the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service.

Kenya’s Vision 2030 has identified cotton as a key sub-sector with the potential to benefit eight million people in the drier areas of the country. The country has the potential to produce 260,000 bales of cotton if the area under cultivation was increased.