New Opportunities In Common-sense Secrets
BT cotton is a genetically modified cotton seed developed with a gene called BT toxic. These are strains of the bacterium bacillus thuringiensis. The toxin contains proteins that are harmful to bollworms, which have been proved to be the main pest affecting cotton balls. “This toxic is not harmful to human beings and its traces have been used to develop numerous pesticides used to control pests in cabbages and sukuma wiki,” said Waturu. He said once the trials were complete in the next six months, the Ministry of Agriculture would launch a seed distribution exercise targeting farmers, especially those from traditional cotton growing areas in western and eastern parts of the country. “We project that if well managed, farmers will be able to get up to five tonnes of cotton from one acre. This is a big boost and we want to move fast to ensure that we regain our cotton growing glory,” he said. According to Waturu, pests and diseases were the main reasons why cotton growing in the country was abandoned, and BT cotton is expected to be the solution. He said the new crop would be viable for irrigation and take up to six months to mature. Waturu however, noted that the crop would not be viable for inter-cropping, especially with maize, since the latter had been established to be a host for the dreaded pest. He said the recruitment of farmers was set to begin soon in collaboration with the host county governments, especially since agriculture was a devolved function.
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