KENYA – Monsanto, the US-based agriculture and chemical giant, has been advocating the adoption of biotechnology to sustain agricultural productivity in the face of declining output partly due to climate change.

Kenya remains a reluctant player when it comes to adoption of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and has since 2015 only allowed controlled approved field trials.

Business Daily had an interview with Monsanto’s vice president for global commercial and supply chain Jesus Madrazo, who was in Nairobi, on the state of agriculture and how technology can be used to boost output and support food security while taking care of emerging environmental and health concerns.

“Three years ago, Monsanto made a very deliberate decision to focus on building our business in sub-Saharan Africa.

As part of that decision, we relocated our headquarters from South Africa to Nairobi.

We have a leadership team for African region here – from where we are trying to build a foundation for agriculture in Africa.

That’s why we are placing a lot of emphasis in this part of the world,” he said.

In response to how Monsanto would be relevant in solving the food insecurity, he said that the solutions required multiple dimensional challenges that require collaboration from companies like Monsanto, government and other partners.

He added that there was tremendous opportunity of doubling productivity by enabling farmers’ to access biotechnology in sub-Saharan Africa.

There was need for enabling policies that allow companies to develop technology that is tailored for realties of the African farmers and put that technology in their hands

He explained that use of biotech can help farmers to adapt to changing patterns and eventually increase yields as well as significantly reduce the use of pesticides in the fields.