In Summary
  • When President Uhuru Kenyatta commissioned a cotton mill in Eldoret mid this year, he gave us hope about the future of farming and technology.
  • Access to GMOs is crucial for a developing country like Kenya, where millions depend on farming and malnutrition is rife. We must find creative and durable ways to increase the income of farmers and fight hunger.
  • Wherever cotton farmers have gained access to GMOs, they’ve rushed to take advantage of them. In India, for example, an estimated 97 percent of cotton farmers plant GMO varieties.
  • Kenyans can complain about colonialism and racism and how the world neglects Africa — but in the case of GMOs, the fact is that we have denied ourselves a great opportunity.

I was appalled to read in the Nation of October 1 of the impending food shortages in Kenya.

However, I was encouraged by Industry CS Peter Munya’s announcement that the government would revive Mount Kenya Textile Mills in Nanyuki.

When President Uhuru Kenyatta commissioned a cotton mill in Eldoret mid this year, he gave us hope about the future of farming and technology.

He directed the Agriculture, Industry, Environment, Health and Education ministers to speed up commercialisation of GMO cotton.

It meant that Kenya finally would lift a ban that has hurt farmers and prevented us from achieving food security.

The problem is that in the months since his visit, we have made no progress beyond our 20th century methods. We’re no closer to producing GMO cotton.

For a decade, I have observed how this safe technology has helped farmers around the world, from the United States to South Africa. By reducing threats posed by pests and weeds, it has allowed farmers to get record-setting yields.

Access to GMOs is crucial for a developing country like Kenya, where millions depend on farming and malnutrition is rife. We must find creative and durable ways to increase the income of farmers and fight hunger.

Page 1 of 2