Civil activists and farmers are now demanding the Government to stop the influx of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s) in the country failure to which they vow to protest.
In a staged campaign at the Jeevanjee Garden yesterday, the Secretary General for the Kenya Small Scale Farmers Forum (KSSFF), Justus Lavi,demanded for the recognition of organic Agriculture and other Agro- ecological farming practices in Kenya saying that GMO’s poses great risk to health and the environment as compared to the organic seeds.
“ The introduction of the patented seeds and related chemicals threatens the agricultural practices,livelihoods,environment and undermines our seed sovereignty,”said Lavi.
“We believe we can feed our communities and this country with organic and Agro-ecological farming practices that do not destroy, pollute and contaminate food, land and seeds,” he added.
Lavi blamed the influx and adoption of GMO’s to Public research institutions accusing them of importing their research while terming the move as lack of innovation. He is however calling on the institutions to shift their focus back to farmers needs if Kenya is to be devoid of depending on corporations in future.
“Our public research institutions must shift their focus back to farmers needs rather than support the agenda of Agri business, which is to colonise our food and seed chain,”asserted Lavi.
He added that farmers believes under-production of food is not the cause of hunger but lack of money, saying that GMO’s are not the solution to poverty and hunger. He also asserted that every person has a right to adequate food of acceptable quality as enshrined in the constitution.
“Article 43 of the constitution affirms that Every person has a right to be free from hunger and to have adequate food of acceptable quality,” Said Lavi.
On his part the official leader of opposition of Bunge la Mwananchi,Josephat Waema termed the move to adopt GMO’s as political gimmic of the political bigwigs who are focused in the next general elections.
“This is a political gimmic by political billionaire looters who aims at maximizing funds for the next general elections’ campaigns” said Waema. While cautioning Kenyans of the effects of GMO’s he called on members of the public to be vigilant and scrutinize the products in supermarkets before any purchase.
On his part the Convener of the Unga Revolution, Cidi Otieno reiterated that the move is a scheme by politicians and the private sector to sell farmer’s maize with the aim of making profits at the expense of farmers. He is now calling on the government to block or consider destruction of the maize in Kilindini Habour, Mombasa from entering the markets adding that failure to address the situation the group will hold demonstrations at Harambe Avenue come 7th July.