The African farming revolution we need.

Right here, right now.

Mr Kinuthia\’s shady plantation is different. His plants began life in a laboratory where tiny pieces from a shoot tip were grown in a sterile jar filled with a nutrient-filled broth. “These are free from disease, quick-maturing and I was able to harvest them all at once. I got one and a quarter metric tonnes from my first crop,” said Mr Kinuthia, who quickly pulled up his coffee plants when he realised the profits he could make from bananas.

Replacing traditional banana trees with plants cultivated in the lab has increased yields threefold among the 14,000 or so Kenyan farmers who have made the switch.

Africa Harvest, a non-profit foundation, is subsidising the production of tissue-culture bananas and wants to reach all 270,000 banana farmers in the country. The same technology is being applied to pineapples, sweet potatoes and other staples.

Excellent work, eh?

How long before some idiot starts complaining that it shouldn\’t happen because farmers won\’t be able to save seeds* to plant the next crop?

 

*Edible bananas of course have no seeds to be saved but that won\’t stop them.

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