Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta recently ordered several ministries to explore the possibility of introducing genetically-modified (GM) Bt cotton. The Ministries of health, agriculture and trade, and industry and cooperatives have been instructed to jointly come up with a quick mechanism to revive the production of cotton, he said during Heroes Day celebrations.

Years of neglect and introduction of second hand clothes led to the collapse of cotton ginneries and textile manufacturing units in the country. Bt. cotton trials have been under way in Kenya for a while but it has not been fully commercialised because of differences between various stakeholders, according to Kenyan media reports. The country’s scientists now say the presidential statement paves the way for eventual exploitation of the technology by Kenyan farmers.