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October 13th, 2017 / Xinhua, China

Kenya on Wednesday unveiled a national task force to oversee the commercialization of genetically modified cotton in the next five years.

Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Willy Bett said the team will build the capacity of key stakeholders involved in the rollout of genetically engineered cotton.

“The government is committed towards harnessing the benefits of biotechnology to help improve rural livelihoods, create employment and increase foreign direct investments in the cotton sub-sector,” Bett said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

He said Kenyan farmers will start cultivation of the Bt cotton in 2019 once the task force establishes structures to support that endeavor.

Bt cotton is genetically enhanced with Bt-genes to protect it against caterpillar pests, especially the African bollworm, the most destructive pest in cotton crops. Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) is a beneficial bacteria that occurs naturally in the soil, local Daily Nation reported. Read more