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REGULATION: Kenian MPs urge support of biosafety bill to ensure food security







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TITLE:  MPS CALL FOR LEGISLATION TO ENSURE FOOD SECURITY

SOURCE: The Standard, Kenya

AUTHOR: Peter Opiyo

URL:    http://www.eastandard.net/archives/index.php?mnu=details&id=1143971403&catid=4&PHPSESSID=ca31d8132f02f6c7be077caa3a3847a5

DATE:   16.07.2007

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MPS CALL FOR LEGISLATION TO ENSURE FOOD SECURITY

Thirteen MPs want legislation fast-tracked to allow scientists to apply modern agricultural biotechnologies as a buffer to food insecurity.

The legislators, drawn from various House committees and led by the Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Science and Technology, Mr Daniel Karaba, said food insecurity has become a major concern, especially in Africa and required urgent attention.

Speaking after a tour of Kenya Agriculture Research Institute’s (Kari) modern biotechnologies projects, Karaba, who is also the Kerugoya-Kutus MP, hailed the institution’s efforts and asked for independence to allow free scientific research.

Alego-Usonga MP, Mr Sammy Weya, said the Bill would create safeguard measures on Biotechnology and allow researchers to invent new technologies without looking over their shoulders.

 

Kenya was still dragging its feet

While other African countries such as South Africa and Malawi have cut a niche in Agricultural biotechnology, he said Kenya was still dragging its feet, as poverty levels soar.

”Biotechnology in (the growing of) cotton and other crops is helping lives in South Africa, significantly reducing the levels of poverty,” said Weya.

Kari Director, Dr Ephraim Mukisira, said biotechnology in the country is challenged by lack of legislation and asked the MPs to urge those against the Bill to support it.

On the tour were Christine Mango (Butula), Mr Kiema Kilonzo (Mutito), Mr Charles Kilonzo (Yatta), Ayiecho Olweny’ (Muhoroni) and Davis Nakitare (Saboti).

Others were Alfred Nderitu (Mwea), Moffat Maitha (Kangundo), Benson Mbai (Masinga), Lucas Chepkitony (Keiyo North), Julius Arunga (Khwisero) and Mutinda Mutiso (Kilome).

The MPs toured Kari headquarters, Karura forest, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and Mwea projects.


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