Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Scientists urge Kenya to rescind GMO ban

08 May 2015, 09:43

Nairobi - Scientists meeting in Nairobi on Thursday urged the government to lift the ban that was imposed on the importation of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in 2012.

The Open Forum for Agricultural Biotechnology in Africa (OFAB) said that the ban has slowed down the momentum that Kenya has built in agricultural research.

"Other East African countries are proceeding at full speed to commercialize a number of crops while Kenya's progress has stalled, " OFAB Kenya Chapter Programming Committee Dr Margaret Karembu said during a meeting to brief stakeholders on a recent GMOs benchmarking trip to Brazil.

Karembu said that Brazil has managed to become a surplus food producing nation due to their adoption of GMOs. She said that GMOs can also play a role in ensuring that Kenya achieves food security.

"The ban on GMOs was not based on sound scientific evidence and this is having a negative impact on agricultural research," he said.

The OFAB official added that biotechnology can be used develop crops that drought and pest resistant.

"The uptake of biotech crops will have a positive impact on farm income especially for the small scale farmers who spend a large portion of their earnings on crops inputs such as pesticides, " she said.

Karembu, who is also the Director of the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications (ISAAA) Africenter said that South Africa, Sudan and Burkina Faso are among the African nations that have commercialized GMOs.

She said that Kenya is currently conducting or has completed confined field trials on cassava, cotton, maize, sorghum and sweet potato.

Also read: Kenya maintains ban on GMOs

Karembu added that globally there has been a hundred fold increase in the acreage cultivated with GMO crops in the last 19 years.

The National Biosafety Authority (NBA) Senior Biosafety Officer Josphat Muchiri said that his organization has approved 19 laboratory and greenhouses studies since in 2010.

NBA is also reviewing the fees, it charges for conducting research on GMOs. "We want to lower the fees in order to encourage more research in the country," Muchiri said.

NBA charges about 1,800 U.S. dollars for a license for contained use and 8,900 dollars for an environmental release of GMOs crops.

For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page!

- Xinhua

Tags kenya gmo

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
George Vodongo
Kalonzo says he will defeat UhuRu...

Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka has expressed confidence that he will send the Jubilee government home in the upcoming Presidential election. Read more...

Submitted by
S Mbinya
Why Caffeine Is Used for Weight L...

The following are the reasons why caffeine is used for weight loss. Read more...

Submitted by
S Mbinya
What guys want in relationships

Here are the top four things guys need in a relationship. Read more...

Submitted by
EACC recovers KES3.5 million stol...

EACC has recovered KES 3.5 million stolen from Mukurwe-ini Constituency Development Fund (CDF) by former committee members managing the kitty. Read more...

Submitted by
Governor snubs Mashujaa Day celeb...

The Governor was last seen in public during his impeachment debate at Senate, which he survived, and later went India for medical checkups. Read more...

Submitted by
Ben Wangui
President recognises Kenya’s new ...

From young innovators, to doctors and local athletes who have represented Kenya in various events, here are the young heroes recognised by the President in this year's Mashujaa Day celebrations. Read more...