Kenya field trial shows Bt cotton the nation’s first GM crop

As Kenya harvests its national performance trials of genetically modified (GM) pest-resistant Bt cotton, Preliminary results shows Bt cotton it boosts yields four-fold over standard varieties. Upon harvesting the field trial planted at Mwea in Kenya’s Central region, Bt cotton yields 6.1 tonnes per hectare, said Dr. Charles Waturu, a senior research scientist with the Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) and principal investigator leading the Bt cotton project. Waturu convey confidence that the crop has met all the parameters required to move it to the next stage of commercialization now that the national performance trials are wrapping up.Waturu said. “It is evident that there is more potential for GM cotton than the conventional one based on what we have just witnessed in the trial fields.” The conventional variety produces just 10 bolls per stem while the biotech variety yields more than 35. The number of bolls determines how many kilos of cotton that farmers can harvest from their fields.
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