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Food security depend on biotech and conventional farming

20 April 2012, 13:35 Trudy Tru

Conventional and biotechnology farming methods will play a role in attaining food security in Kenya “Conventional technology cannot feed 9 billion people by 2050, neither can biotechnology,” said Clive James the author a recent report Global Status of Commercialized Biotechnology/Gm Crops: 2011.

“A combination of various approaches like using the best of biotechnology and the best of conventional farming will feed the world of tomorrow,” he added

Addressing the Open Forum for Agricultural Biotechnology in Africa (OFAB) On Thursday 18 at a Nairobi hotel, Clive underscored political will as necessary for adoption of biotechnology in order for countries and especially Kenya to feed its citizens.

"Just as any new change, there will be concerns, questions and fears of biotech crops. These can be countered with a proper campaign,” Clive said. “Innovation is the ability to manage change as opportunity and not as a threat,” he added.

Clive James recommends sharing knowledge to increase understanding among framers, policymakers, communicators and stakeholders to quail the fears of adopting biotechnology in Kenya.

Supporting Clive’s comments, Dr. Margaret Karembu Director of International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications (ISAAA ) remarks: “As Kenya moves towards commercialization of biotechnology by 2014, there is need to focus on seed production,”

According to the Global Status of Commercialized Biotechnology/Gm Crops: 201 1 report,  Europe Brazil, Asia, China, Pakistan, South Africa are some of the countries which have adopted biotech and benefited economically.

Dr  James says biotech crops  contributes to environment conservation by decreasing Carbon Dioxide emissions  through less use of pesticides, increases food productivity,  and also increases efficiency of water usage.

Kenya is the fourth African country to legalized commercialized biotechnology after South Africa, Burkina Faso and Egypt.

Clive James recommends sharing knowledge to increase understanding among framers, policymakers, communicators and stakeholders to quail the fears of adopting biotechnology in Kenya.

According to the National Biosafety office, the government of Kenya published its implementing regulations for environment release as outlined in the Biosafety Act 2009, allowing commercial cultivation of biotech crops.

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