× Digital News Videos Africa Health & Science Opinion Columnists Education Lifestyle Cartoons Moi Cabinets Arts & Culture Gender Planet Action Podcasts E-Paper Tributes Lifestyle & Entertainment Nairobian Entertainment Eve Woman TV Stations KTN Home KTN News BTV KTN Farmers TV Radio Stations Radio Maisha Spice FM Vybez Radio Enterprise VAS E-Learning Digger Classified Jobs Games Crosswords Sudoku The Standard Group Corporate Contact Us Rate Card Vacancies DCX O.M Portal Corporate Email RMS


Use biotechnology to end food insecurity - Ruto

By | Jul 15th 2010 | 2 min read


Higher Education Minister William Ruto has called for radical changes in agricultural production to ensure sustainable food supplies in the face of climate change.

These changes, he said, should include development of transgenic crops, also referred to as Genetically Modified (GM) crops.

The minister said adequate regulatory and institutional capacity would allow the use of biotechnology to produce enough food.

Keep pace

"The question in the minds of governments and policy makers is how food supply can keep pace with global demand. This challenge requires radical changes in the way food is produced," said Mr Ruto.

He said for a long time, Kenya had been ready to explore possibilities of producing GMOs to beat food insecurity, which has threatened lives of many. "What is needed is a functional system for us to tap into the potential of agricultural biotechnology," he said.

In a speech read on his behalf at a regional biosafety workshop in Nairobi, yesterday, the minister asked for speedy development of a system to ensure safety and sustainability of GMOs.

The workshop brought together national and institutional biosafety committees, plant quarantine officers, scientists and officers from government agencies.

Parliament approved the Biosafety Bill 2008, and the President assented it in February, last year.

This was followed by the establishment of the National Biosafety Authority (NBA) to exercise general supervision and control over transfer, handling and use of GMOs.

The biosafety regulations are yet to be gazetted, making NBA a lame duck and raising fears Kenyans could be consuming uncertified GMOs.

"It is true Kenyans could be consuming GMOs because our capacity is still tied by law," said NBA Director Harrison Macharia.

"Anything harmful cannot escape the stringent testing that GMOs go through before they are commercialised. Such tests are still ongoing," Macharia added.

Share this story
AP boss dispels claims of Force go-slow
Administration Police Commandant Kinuthia Mbugua has blamed mischief of a few officers for the perceived go-slow in the force.
When Njonjo almost resigned over coffee smugglers
Known as the era of black gold, it began in 1976 when Ugandan farmers decided to sell their coffee in the private market.