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Kenya lifts ban on open cultivation of genetically modified crops

Kenya’s new president has announced that the cabinet had reversed the country’s decade-old decision by lifting the ban on the open cultivation of genetically modified crops

AdobeStock 458994206Ban on genetically modified crops lifted to help tackle drought and food security in Kenya (Image source: Adobe Stock)

Since years, a majority of the African continent, including Kenya has dealt with concerns over the safety of genetically modified foods, resulting in a ban being imposed on the open cultivation of such crops. Some of their major concerns include the potential harmful effects that genetically modified agriculture could have on smallholder farms, existing crops, the environment and people’s long-term health. However, the annual report published by the US trade representative office in March highlighted how the ban had had a significant impact on food aid as well as the US agricultural exports to East Africa’s commercial hub

As Kenya struggles with drought and food security, the presidency issued a statement authorising the open cultivation and import of white genetically modified maize. The deadly drought has managed to impact 23 of Kenya’s 47 counties, greatly impacting the country’s food security. A report published by Associated Press mentioned the Cabinet’s decision on adopting biotechnology as a means of dealing with the ongoing issues of drought and food security. It further discussed significantly redefining Kenya’s agriculture by adopting pest and disease resistant crops


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