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17th November 2022
Welcome to issue 56 of the DrumBeat!

As the DrumBeat team, we convey our utmost gratitude to you - our esteemed reader - for making this newsletter a leader in provision of exciting stories on Africa's latest bioscience development and cutting-edge scientific innovations. This edition celebrates Kenya's historic decision to lift a 10-year ban on importation and utilization of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). This is a milestone that will see the country efficiently adopt approved biotech crops and import GM foods as one of the sustainable options to arrest food insecurity.

The Story of the Month presents fascinating statistics on how a Kenyan farmer stands at a prime position to hugely benefit from biotech crops following the lifting of the ban. Farmers have disappointedly obtained meagre returns from their crops and experienced massive food shortages in the face of climate adversity. The Story of the Month puts a strong case of why embracing and cultivating climate resilient GM crops will empower farmers and cushion the country against food insecurity.

The vacation of the ban on GMOs serves as an inspiration to Kenya's scientific community which has been working tirelessly to research and develop climate smart biotech crops. In keeping with the country's commitment to develop home-grown GM crops, we feature the Virus Resistant Cassava for Africa (VIRCA Plus) project in the Video of the Month. VIRCA Plus is developing cassava genetically improved to resist brown streak disease (CBSD), a vicious disease responsible for up to 100 percent yield loss in cassava.

The lifting of the ban has, however, elicited polarized debate sometimes characterized by misinformation and lies about the technology. ISAAA AfriCenter has taken the lead to build knowledge and understanding around biotech crops and dispel any misinformation thereof.

For these and more stories, take time to read and watch exciting stories in the DrumBeat. Welcome.


Kenyan Developed GM Cassava Ready for Market

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Gerald Masila

Gerald Masila
Chief Executive Officer of East African Grains Council (EAGC)

The Lifting of GMO Ban in Kenya Sets to Turn Farmers' Fortunes Around

Kenya's poor productivity in agriculture is attributed to an array of factors one of which is failure to embrace modern agricultural biotechnology. The Government's decision to lift the ban on importation and use of genetically modified foods is a move in the right direction in ensuring the country becomes self-sufficient in food production. I present a fascinating picture of why modern biotech is the engine that will drive prosperity in Kenya.

Read more
From Our Newsroom
AfriCenter ramps up sensitization following Kenya's Lifting of GMO Ban

AfriCenter ramps up sensitization following Kenya's Lifting of GMO Ban

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. Read more.

OFAB-Kenya Celebrates Excellence in Science Journalism

OFAB-Kenya Celebrates Excellence in Science Journalism

The Kenya Chapter of Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology in Africa (OFAB) celebrated exemplary science journalism and recognized media's contribution in promoting agricultural biotechnology during a media awards gala hosted at Serena Hotel, Nairobi on October 14, 2022. This year's celebrations were themed "The Role of Innovations for Food Security and Agricultural Transformation". Read more.

AfriCenter Sensitizes the Private Sector on GMO

AfriCenter Sensitizes the Private Sector on GMO

ISAAA AfriCenter, in collaboration with Kenya Private Sector Alliance and other partners, held a private sector sensitization workshop on GMO following the lifting of the ban on importation of GM foods... Read more.

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