The performance-testing of GM maize will start in October in Kitale.
This comes after the National Biosafety Authority early this year approved an application by the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation and the African Agricultural Technology Foundation that requested the release of insect-resistant maize.
NBA chief executive Willy Tonui (pictured below) said the test to be conducted by the Kenya Plant and Health Inspectorate Service will cover two seasons to determine efficacy and performance.
“If it performs better than the available varieties, it will be commercialised or released to farmers by 2018,” he said.
Tonui added that the authority is finalising the application for the release of GM cotton that was submitted late last year.
He said organic farming advocates opposed to GMOs will get an opportunity to present their concerns next week during the 5th Annual Biosafety Conference.
The four-day conference will be held at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies under the theme, “Strengthening partnerships and capacity towards meeting international obligations in biosafety”.
It will attract biotechnology and biosafety experts, policy makers and other actors who will present on the latest developments and problems in biotechnology.
“There will be an important discussion between Ugandan and Kenyan MPs on the challenges and opportunities for GMO policy and legislation,” he said.