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Atheists in Kenya Society back Ruto’s GMO plan

By Mercy Simiyu October 12th, 2022 2 min read

The Atheists in Kenya Society (AIK) have backed President William Ruto’s administration on their decision to lift the ban that restricted the importation or open cultivation of genetically modified crops.

In a statement, the society’s president Harrison Mumia said many people in the country are dying of hunger and GMOs are a solution to curbing food shortages.

“Kenya has been experiencing extreme drought conditions. Some 3.5 million Kenyans are suffering from starvation.

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Let it be remembered that Kenya suffered an unprecedented wave of desert locusts in early 2020 which spelt disaster for thousands of farmers and rural communities,” Mumia said.

The Society president however said the GMOs will help Kenya meet food security challenges in the country.

“GMOs, combined with improved conventional farming methods and new biological crop protection products will help us meet the food security challenges we are facing,” he said

On October 3, 2022, President William Ruto presented the bill to lift the ban on GMO food in Kenya to his parliament.

He moved the motion that the cultivation and importation of genetically modified maize products for mass consumption be allowed henceforth.

Kenya’s cabinet was in agreement as they decided on lifting the ten-year ban.

The goal of this initiative is to reduce the cost of flour, which has now hit a high of sh200 for a two-kilo packet, by making GMO maize readily available in the market.

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However, President Ruto’s plan to combat starvation in Kenya is being met with rejection

“Food security is not just about the amount of food but the quality and safety of food,” said a joint statement signed by a dozen groups, including Greenpeace Africa. Our cultural and indigenous foods have proved to be safer, with diverse nutrients and with less harmful chemical inputs.”

However, experts have assured the cabinet that GMO maize variety can yield double what farmers are getting from the conventional breeds given that they are drought tolerant and can withstand pests and diseases.

The controversial society has been at the forefront of critiquing the president and his Family for hinting at having monthly prayers in the State House

“The State House, which is the official residence of the President, should be used for State functions only, and not religious functions. Any religious functions by the first family should be conducted in their private residence,” Mumia explained.

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