World Biodiversity Day 2010

The UN proclaimed May 22nd, the international day for biodiversity to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. To celebrate the day this year; NECOFA Kenya coordinators Mr. Samwel K. Muhunyu was invited to facilitate a one day forum on biodiversity conservation at the Dimese sisters Karen Nairobi hosted by the Franciscan Brothers and JPICFA which focused on GMO foods. The facilitator had the role of closing the information gap in definition of what GMO foods are, where they originated from, reason for their introduction, advantages and disadvantages, human health, soils, environment and indigenous agricultural practices.

The forum brought together about 70 delegates mostly from Nairobi but sharing a common interest of conserving the biodiversity.

The cloud of  controversy surrounding the GMO’s received some light as the presentation clearly put into limelight the deception used by multinational companies promoting GMO’s. The companies introduce GMO’s indirectly to small scale farmers in order to evade restrictions outlined by the biosafety act that is described as weak and inadequate. It emerged that the Multinationals had created a cycle of dependence on their products by farmers throughout the crop production period and ultimately fetch huge profit. The system increase the cost of input towards food production hence reduce the profit margin and in many cases farmers encounter losses and low farm sustainability.

The facilitator Mr Muhunyu advocated the need for consumers to be quite careful and concerned when buying food stuff and seeds from the dealers and food stores. He made a presentation titled “Gambling with food is condemning millions of people in Kenya” that further elaborated on Biodiversity concepts and fight against GMO’s.  The forum organizers in fact engaged the facilitator, Mr. Muhunyu for a commitment to make presentations on similar or related topics in the near future in a build up to strengthen the civil society movement against GMO’s.

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