Following the lifting of a decade-long ban on importation and use of genetically modified (GM) foods in Kenya, ISAAA AfriCenter – through OFAB Kenya – took the lead to ramp up public education on the benefits of GMOs. The lifting of the ban has elicited polarized debate with anti-GMO groups up in arms spreading misinformation and lies about crop biotechnology.
As part of a wider strategy to build knowledge and understanding around biotech crops, AfriCenter organized nine (9) media events and several engagements with farmers, animal feed manufacturers and the private sector. Through these activities, misinformation and lies about the technology were dispelled with biotech and biosafety experts assuring the public that biotech crops are safe and provides an option in addressing acute food and feed insecurity in the country.
Out of AfriCenter’s outreach activities on the vacation of the ban, sixty-eight (68) media stories were aired or published in more than eight (8) mainstream media stations – radio, television, print and digital media. The stories garnered a major traction with an impression of 99,228,108. To put this into perspective, about 95 percent of Kenyans aged over 18 years heard and learned about GMOs. This is a milestone in knowledge sharing on any agricultural technology in the country.