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August 23rd, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Agriculture dominates Kenya’s economy.

Food security played a major role during the presidential campaign. The price of unga—our staple food of maize meal—had risen sharply, due in part to a bad drought. People were hungry and worried about what they would eat next. President Kenyatta and Deputy President Ruto have stressed the importance of available, accessible and affordable food and the government took quick action this year to import and subsidize maize so that by June, Kenyan consumers were able to buy a 2kg packet of unga for Kes. 90 – about 90 US cents.

There are no simple solutions to the problem of food security, but we’re on the brink of adopting a technological tool that promises to help—and the results of last week’s elections may represent a crucial step along the way.

Few public figures addressed GMO farming during the presidential race. As far as I know, President Kenyatta never brought it up specifically, even as he discussed the importance of fertilizers, irrigation, and mechanization; more specifically the fact that the Jubilee Government would subsidize fertilizers so that prices would go down from the present Kes. 1800 to Kes. 1200 per 50kgs.

Only one national public figure has talked about GMOs directly: The victorious Deputy President Ruto. Read more