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In this multimedia, nine Kenyan Members of Parliament visit a confined field trial for drought tolerant maize by agricultural researchers in Eastern Kenya. It is an initiative aimed at developing high-yielding drought resistant hybrid maize under the Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) project.
The researchers seek to demonstrate to parliamentarians how biotechnology could contribute to food security, especially in areas affected by climate change. They also take the members of parliament through the process of research for drought tolerant maize in the field and at the same time seeks to demonstrate features showing that the maize is safe for human consumption.
The parliamentarians, drawn from various parliamentary committees such as environment, agriculture and education, discuss with scientists on how Kenya can embrace biotechnology, especially GM maize. Their visit comes against a backdrop of Kenyan government ban of GM foods importation on 8 November, 2011 through a Kenyan Cabinet and Presidential decree.
The confined field trials for water efficient maize for Africa is a joint-effort by the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation, International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF).This multimedia has been produced by SciDev.Net's Sub-Saharan Africa desk.