Kenya aims to increase its commercial production of GMO cotton by ten times next year. Its target is to involve over 200,000 farmers to boost production from 20,000 bales currently to 200,000 bales by 2022.
GMO cotton is believed to have a high germination rate, early maturation and the ability to resist common pests.
Controlled farming of GMO cotton was approved by the Kenyan government in 2019 after successful field trials, and it identified 1,000 farmers last year to receive the first GMO cotton seeds, according to Kenyan media reports.
The country has a demand of 38,000 tonnes of cotton lint, but produces only 5,300 tonnes. The deficit is imported from its neighbouring countries.
Besides Kenya, African countries like Sudan, South Africa, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Malawi and Eswatini also produce GMO cotton.