VIENNA, Austria, Sept 14 – Kenya is collaborating with the international Atomic Energy Agency to utilise nuclear technology for agricultural, livestock and industrial production, as a means of fighting poverty and achieving food security and energy, Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka has said.
The VP hailed the ground-breaking development of early-maturing, high-yielding and drought-resistant wheat dubbed" the golden wheat", which is about to be rolled out in Kenya, as one example of safe use of nuclear technology to attain food security.
He said this technique of mutation breeding will be extended to banana and cassava production.
Mr Musyoka spoke when he addressed the 53rd Session of United Nation’s International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, Austria.
He lauded the Agency’s technical cooperation with Kenya, noting that it had significantly contributed towards the development of the country,s national nuclear science and technology infrastructure.
"Currently Kenya is participating with IAEA in 11 national projects and 53 regional projects covering human resources, health, especially radiology, energy and radio active waste management," the VP noted.
The Vice President thanked IAEA for supporting the provision of radiotherapy services at Kenyatta National Hospital and Nyanza General Hospital.
Mr Musyoka said Kenya supports the right of all States to have full use of nuclear technology and its scientific application in accordance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
"I wish therefore to reaffirm the basic and inalienable right of all States to the development, research, production and use of atomic energy for peaceful purposes, without discrimination," said the VP.
To that end, he said Kenya is seeking assistance to develop nuclear power plants to generate an extra 1000 MW in the immediate future.
He told the delegates from across the world that Kenya has set aside Sh200 million towards the construction of a Central Radioactive Waste Processing Facility.
"We also welcome steps taken by IAEA in developing techniques to create tsetse-flies free zones in Kenya,s Lambwe Valley," he said.
Mr Musyoka thanked the Agency’s outgoing Director-General Dr Mohamed El Baradei for a job well done and welcomed his successor Ambassador Yukiya Amano.
During the conference, Burundi, Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Bahrin and Cambodia, were admitted as members.