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Benefits and Progress Towards Commercialization of Bt Cotton in Kenya. Dr. Waturu CN Centre Director KARI- Thika Presented at the OFAB County Biotechnology Awareness Seminar, Kabarnet , B aringo County, Tuesday September 17, 2013 (email:[email protected]). Presentation Outline.

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Benefits and Progress Towards Commercialization of Bt Cotton in Kenya

Dr. Waturu CN Centre Director KARI-ThikaPresented at the OFAB County Biotechnology Awareness Seminar, Kabarnet, Baringo County, Tuesday September 17, 2013(email:[email protected])


Presentation Outline

  • Biotech Cottons
  • Efficacy of Bt-Cotton
  • Adoption of Biotech Cottons
  • Impact of Biotech Cotton
  • Requirements for Adoption of Biotech cotton

Source: Brookes and Barfoot, 2012; Clive James, 2012

commercialized traits
Commercialized Traits
  • Insect Resistance – Bt cotton / BollgardI
  • Herbicide Tolerance – Ht cotton
  • Stacked traits – with 2 or more traits (Bt/Ht)

Global Adoption of Biotech Cotton in Hectares and Accumulated Hectares, 1996 to 2011

Source: Clive James, 2012

effect on abw larvae
Effect on ABW Larvae

Bt-Cotton Project

effect on boll damage

Square damage

Boll damage

Effect on Boll Damage

Bt-Cotton Project

effect on red spider mite t telarius
Effect on Red Spider Mite (T. telarius)

BG II unsprayed

BG II Sprayed 6 times

Isoline unsprayed

Isoline sprayed 6 times

Bt-Cotton Project

effect on ladybird
Effect on Ladybird

Ladybird Larvae

Ladybird Adult

Bt-Cotton Project

economic and farmer benefits
Economic and Farmer Benefits
  • Total Farm income gains
  • USD 5 Billion for Insect Resistant
  • USD 148.3 million for Herbicide Tolerant
  • Attributed to:
  • reduced pesticide use
  • savings in labour, time, water
  • Higher yields, better quality

Environmental and Social Impacts

  • Improved productivity and income
  • Protect biodiversity –
  • Environmental impact – Reduce need for external inputs
  • Humanitarian benefits - Contribution to poverty alleviation

Source: Brookes and Barfoot, 2012; Clive James, 2012


Three Requirements for Growth of Biotech/GM crops in Africa

Political will and support from lead countries, governments and institutions

Establish responsible and efficient regulatory systems, that are appropriate for Africa with limited resources

Communication with Society transparently and accurately

core stakeholders forum
Key Bt-Cotton Stakeholders met at PanAfric Hotel, Nairobi,15th June 2010

Satisfied that the research phase of Bt-Cotton technology had been successfully accomplished

Agreed on the need to expedite the commercialization process

Formulated a Taskforce to draw the commercialization roadmap for Bt cotton in Kenya

Core Stakeholders Forum

Bt Cotton Taskforce

Identification of 06K486 cotton variety for transformation

Variety already officially released as a cotton variety in Kenya

Development of the DUS protocol for the Essentially Derived Variety (after transformation)


Bt Cotton Taskforce

Establishment of research areas to be undertaken during the commercialization process

Insect Resistance Management:

Alternate host studies (completed)

Literature review on the biology and ecology of caterpillar pests of cotton in Kenya (completed)

Baseline susceptibility of bollworms (completed)

IRM strategy for Kenya

Socio-economic studies:

Economic and social impacts of the introduction of Bt cotton in smallholder farming systems in Kenya


Bt Cotton Taskforce

Identification of potential business partners

Seed producers including Kenya Seed Company, Vibha Seed Company (India), Quton Seed Company (Zimbabwe) and Advanta Seed Company (India)

The National Irrigation Board (NIB) through contractual farming

Identification of ideal region/s for seed multiplication (Bura and Hola Irrigation schemes)


Bt Cotton Taskforce

  • Creating awareness and communicating correct information on Bt-Cotton technology
  • Ensuring better public understanding of biotechnology and its applications for informed decision making
  • Enhancing knowledge in biotechnology among decision makers, including policy makers from pertinent Government Ministries
  • Creating awareness on the roles and responsibilities of key stakeholders within the value chain

Bt Cotton Taskforce

training session kabarnet
Training Session- Kabarnet

Bt Cotton Taskforce

media presentations
Media Presentations

Inooro FM Gikuyu Live Interview

with Waithera Muitherania

Citizen Radio Interview with Christine Ojiambo

KBC Radio Interview with Toepista Nabusoba

  • To discuss the position on Bt-Cotton commercialization process
  • To draw a clear roadmap for commercialization of Bt-Cotton in Kenya

Bt Cotton Taskforce

key issues
Key Issues
  • Transformation progress
  • Application for environmental release
  • Mandatory tests after approval
  • Outreach and Stewardship
  • IRM Strategy
  • Seed acquisition for commercialization
  • Business strategy
  • Product launch and commercialization

Bt Cotton Taskforce



  • Monsanto delegate reported transformation of cotton variety 06K486 was in progress

Application for environmental release

  • Compilation of the application dossier ongoing (all necessary information is being assembled)
  • Application to be submitted to the NBA by end of January 2013

Bt Cotton Taskforce


Mandatory tests

  • KEPHIS reported that one season DUS test will be conducted upon approval since it will be an essentially derived variety
  • Variety registration will follow upon qualification

Outreach and Stewardship

  • Outreach activities to continue with prioritized stakeholders
  • Outreach activities to intensify after approval

Bt Cotton Taskforce


IRM strategy

  • IRM strategy to be developed by Monsanto and stakeholders before commercialization
  • IRM strategy implementation by Monsanto and stakeholders after environmental release

Seed acquisition

  • Seed for initial commercialization will be imported from RSA while subsequent seed will be produced locally
  • Initial importation of 40 tons of seed for planting 10,000 hectares

Bt Cotton Taskforce


Business Strategy

  • Interested parties to be licensed by Monsanto to use the technology
  • Seed multiplication to be done in Kenya by Monsanto and licensees
  • Three private seed companies expressed interest -Vibha, Advanta both from India and Quton from Zimbabwe – production for local and export markets
  • Licensees could use their germplasm (subject to registration in the National Variety List by KEPHIS)

Bt Cotton Taskforce


Business Strategy

  • Licensees ready to work with the Kenyan farmers on contractual basis
  • CODA to facilitate linkages, farmer traceability, regulate prices among others
  • NIB to provide land, water and farmers to facilitate irrigated production
  • Local ginners to play a key role in chain

Seed quality standards to be set by Monsanto

Bt Cotton Taskforce

map to commercialization kenya
Map to Commercialization - Kenya

Current Scenario







  • Compilation of application for commercialization
  • Submission of application

Event registration


  • Review of application
  • Delivery of authorization

Variety registration trials


Variety registration

  • 1 year of variety testing (conv. variety registered)

Small Plot Field Plots

Commercial Activities

Farmer Demo’s

Commercial Launch

  • Commercial activities: development of optimal technical itinerary


Breeder Seed-Increase

Commercial Seed Increase

proposed way forward
Proposed Way Forward

Bt Cotton Taskforce

It is the stakeholders’ wish that this initiative to commercialize Bt-cotton by year 2014will see the light of the day in order to make cotton production profitable to farmers as it generates foreign exchange for our economy

Successful commercialization of Bt-cotton technology will set precedent for future commercialization of other genetically modified organisms in the country


Bt Cotton Taskforce

the vision
The Vision

To have Kenyan Farmers realize such