May. 31, 2016
The government has finally sanctioned the sale of locally developed biotech maize and sorghum varieties that are drought- and pest-resistant, to post high yields.
Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (Kephis) acting managing director Esther Kimani said the 17 maize varieties would now be sold to farmers for commercial use after a rigorous process showed the varieties were also weed-resistant.
The notice published in the latest Kenya Gazette said five fast-maturing varieties named Kalro Katumani, jointly developed by the Nairobi-based African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (Cimmyt), Monsanto Company and the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation were suitable for eastern, Nyanza and central regions.
Its special attributes include proven resistance to drought, major leaf diseases and maize streak virus, where the yields were estimated at between six to seven tonnes per hectare.
Monsanto/AATF have received patents for three varieties recommended for growing in moist-medium, mid-altitude and high altitude areas in eastern, central and Rift Valley regions that are drought and disease resistant.