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Biotech firms: Why Kenyans risk weeping with one eye while the other tightly shut

Peter Kimani

 

The long-awaited Cabinet shuffle has finally been unveiled, only months after Prezzo Bill Ruto lamented that many of his appointees had proven incompetent. And given his magnanimity, he did not send anyone home; they got mortgages to pay, you know, so he simply reassigned a few to ministries with lighter duties.

There was a curious expansion of some ministries— or it could be that the departments existed previously but we had no idea— a standout being the State Department for Crop Development, under the ministry of Agriculture.

I expect this is the department that will work closely with American biotech firm, the sort that lined up at State House when GMO restrictions were lifted, and are working tooth and nail to lock indigenous seeds under patents under some nonsense called “climate-smart agriculture.”

This innocuous formulation foregrounds a sinister protocol named African Continental Free Trade Area that biotech firms in the West are using to introduce stringent controls of the food that we eat.

As the left-leaning The Nation of the US records in a penetrating analysis, Western biotech firms are seeking to lock indigenous African food varieties that have sustained us for millennia under GMO patents.

“New agriculture ‘reforms’ being pushed by major seed and biotech firms and non-profits aim to institute legal and financial penalties for African farmers who fail to adopt patented seeds, including GMOs,” writes The Nation.

Folks, listen and listen good; when these chaps are done with us, we shall weep with one eye, and the other tightly shut.

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