Genetically Modified Organisms: The Cure to Hunger?

Food security is a pressing issue in Kenyan society and the pressures of an ever growing human population and unpredictable weather has placed this issue in the headlines. To solve this upcoming food crisis, Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) have been proposed as the solution to end hunger in many African countries. Could the introduction of GMOs be the answer to increase Kenya’s agricultural productivity and alleviate hunger? It is interesting to see that GMOs and their role in food insecurity have sparked a great deal of uncertainty and disagreement among many Kenyans. Despite GMOs being an alluring idea to combat hunger, is it the right solution for Africans? It is sad to think that widespread use of GMOs in Kenya could open the doors for corporate exploitation. Large companies own the right to these seeds, and many farmers could become trapped and fall deeper into poverty due to the costs of seeds they cannot even afford in the first place. We believe Kenya is capable of producing its own food and feeding themselves. However, since arable land is no longer increasing and as the climate is becoming more variable, we must think of new technologies that could be adapted to meet the demands of an estimated 100 million people by 2030. Do we let our population starve due to stigmas surrounding GMOs? Or do we change the perception of the local people, and empower them, to use GMOs to help feed the nation?

By: Diato Opiyo (MMASc in Global Health Systems in Africa Candidate); Kevin Erratt (MSc and Collaborative Program in Global Health Systems in Africa Candidate); Danstan Maraka (BSc Egerton University)

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