HomeWorld NewsKenya to import first GM maize amid drought and food shortages

Kenya to import first GM maize amid drought and food shortages

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Kenya is ready to import its first genetically modified maize, the cabinet secretary for commerce has said, as the government seeks to ease food shortages caused by the country’s worst drought in 40 years.

Local media reported that Kenya will on Friday allow 10 million bags of maize to be imported duty-free over the next six months, and for the first time it will include genetically modified maize.

The imports will be the first since President William Ruto last month lifted a decade-long ban on the cultivation and importation of genetically modified crops, which authorities hope will improve crop yields and food security as millions face hunger.

KENYA’S SECOND BUILDING COLLAPSED THIS WEEK KILLS 2

10 million bags of maize will be imported into Kenya over the next six months. Pictured: Villager Caroline is seen in a withered maize crop field amid a historically devastating drought in the Kidemu sub-location of Kilifi County, Kenya, on March 23, 2022.
(Dong Jianghui/Xinhua via Getty Images)

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“In view of the food situation in the country, I will be signing instruments to allow duty-free imports of transgenic (genetically modified) and non-transgenic maize for the next 6 months,” Secretary Moses Kuria said on Twitter.

Annual rains have failed in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia for the past four seasons, forcing 1.5 million people to flee their homes in search of water and food elsewhere.

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