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6-Regulation: Kenya starts National Biosafety Framework project



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TITLE:  Saitoti decries Kenya's food insecurity
SOURCE: The East Afdrican Standrad, Kenya, by Clarice Jerono
        http://www.eastandard.net/headlines/news1504200303.htm
DATE:   Apr 15, 2003

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Saitoti decries Kenya's food insecurity

Kenya is food insecure and there is need to meet the demand by venturing into 
genetically modified (GM) food, Education Science and Technology Minister, Prof 
George Saitoti has said.

The need to embrace GM food is important owing to the rise in poverty levels and 
unemployment, he said.

In a speech read on his behalf by this PS, Prof Karega Mutahi during the 
official opening of the National Bio-safety Framework at a Nairobi hotel, 
Saitoti said there was need to sensitise communities and farmers on the use of 
GM products. "Falling foreign earnings from export of primary agricultural 
products has culminated into unfavourable balance of payments and low per capita 
income".

Saitoti said bio-technology had a big role to play in alleviating hunger, 
poverty and disease. He observed also that rapid urbanisation will necessitate 
the need for commercialisation of agriculture and increase the demand for 
processed food.

He said myths and suspicions surrounding GM crops should be addressed with 
utmost urgency and called for collaboration of the private sector with other 
stakeholders with the aim of advancing agricultural bio-technology skills and 
manpower.

He, however, warned of the risks involved in the emerging technology advancement 
and called for legislation and regulatory mechanisms to mitigate against 
inherent risks.