Is Agricultural Biotechnology The Future Of Agriculture In Kenya?

Workers plant genetically modified cotton seeds during trials in Kibos, Kisumu County. I mage by Denish Ochieng, Standard

By Alex Wachira

Popularly known as agritech, biotechnology is the practice of using scientific techniques and tools such as genetic engineering to change and improve plant and animal productivity.

It entails genetically modifying microorganisms, plants and animals to desired characteristics and results.

Crops may be modified to a certain growth rate, products size, ability to resist to insects, pests and diseases.

Farmers can manipulate plants and animals through selective breeding in order to create and achieve any desired traits.

The basic goals of every farmer usually include increased yields, pest and disease resistance and drought resistance which can all be achieved through agricultural biotechnology.

Biotechnology might simply be the solution to Kenya’s future and current agricultural problems like adverse climate and weather changes, feeding an ever growing population and converting the huge bare chunks of land to be arable.

Herbicide tolerant crops for instance would save farmers the many hours spent on the farm getting rid of weeds thus invest them on other productive agricultural activities that will help promote food security.

Farmers can use chemical herbicides that allow crops to survive and grow while eliminating weeds in the farm.

Study shows biotechnology in Kenya can be improvised to help farmers even diagnose crop diseases by incorporating mobile technology.

Kenya still has a great potential to grow crops bio technically like Africa top countries namely South Africa, Egypt and Burkina Faso; who grow biotechnology crops on a huge commercial scale.

Risks feared to be experienced from the growing and rearing of genetically modified plants and animals is the major inhabitant and limitation to Kenyan farmers fully embracing biotechnology. Read more…

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