President Uhuru Kenyatta Thursday officially opened the Mombasa International ASK Show with calls on Kenyans to embrace modern technology in enhancing food production in the country.
The President also assured Kenyan that his Government was doing everything possible to ensure adequate security particularly at the Coast region, now that the tourism sector is picking up very fast.
The President arrived at the famous Mkomani show grounds almost at 11.00am before being shown round the show stands while accompanied by Ag, Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture and Livestock Adan Mohamed and Mombasa Governor Hassan Ali Joho , along side other top government officers.
Mombasa Show attracted over 250 exhibitors both individuals, corporate and government institutions currently showcasing their products and services to the public.
The show theme and ban on GMOs
In a bid to meet the show theme of enhancing technology in agriculture and industry for food security and national growth, the Ministry of Agriculture where the show fails under is focused on promoting more research on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) to ensure sufficient food production in the country.
Acting Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture Adan Mohammed Wednesday confirmed that the research on GMOs at an advance stage at the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research (KALRO).
Speaking when he toured the Mombasa International Agricultural Show ,Adan said researchers have been carrying out research on maize and cotton varieties.
The CS however reiteriated that the ban on imported GMO products in the country still stands and that the National Biosafety Authority (NBA) has been mandated to ensure locally produced GMO products are safe and secure for local consumption.
“The maize variety that I have mentioned has been sent to the National Biosafety Authority and they are now conducting public opinion on safety. We are waiting for the outcome from them so as to give the necessary seal of approval for us to proceed and utilize that variety that will undoubtedly improve our productivity”.
He added that his ministry has been supporting KALRO in their research on GMO saying pest and drought resistant variety of maize and cotton are readily available for use in our country.
He also emphasized on using bio technology to improve on traditional farming methods.
“The agricultural process and policies is as old as when we got independence, it is largely rain fed, very limited amount of agriculture, its predominantly small holder farms, limited room for irrigation and mechanization it is still limited in use of bio technology to improve on the weakness of traditional agricultural methods.”