1. Crop Care

GM CASAVA Approved in Kenya

Vipin Saini
Vipin Saini

Kenya National Biosafety Authority approved the release of genetically modified cassava, resistant to Cassava Brown Streak Disease (CBSD)- a common and devastating plant viral disease that destroys the edible roots even when rest of the plant looks healthy and can cause yield losses up to 100% 

CBSD resistant cassava event 4046 was developed under VIRCA plus project implemented jointly by KALRO, Kenya; National Crops Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI), Uganda and Donald Danforth Plant Science Center DDPSC, USA. 

National Biosafety Authority (NBA) regulates the import, contained and confined field trials and commercial release of genetically modified organisms GMOs under the Biosafety Act No. 2 of 2009 

NBA approved CBSD resistant cassava event 4046 in NBA board meeting held on 18 June 2021 after a thorough and rigorous evaluation of food, feed, and environmental safety assessment as well as consideration of socio-economic issues. On 15 May 2020, Biosafety Kenya requested for public comments for a period of 30th days on an application for environmental release (open field cultivation) and placing on the market of disease resistant genetically modified cassava in Kenya. 

With the approval by Biosafety Kenya, KALRO will initiate large scale national national performance trials #NPT of CBSD resistant cassava for varietal registration and release of the new variety to farmers in next 2 years. 

South Asia Biotechnology Centre implements a mega “India Africa Agricultural Engagement” program in collaboration with key stakeholders incl ISAAAAfriCenter, AATF, OFAB, USDA etc from Africa that allowed African stakeholders to comprehend the process of biosafety, field trials and commercial release of Bt cotton in Kenya.  

Source: SABC 

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