Crop Biotech Update

Tanzania Minister Asks Ugandan Researchers to Help Farmers

August 31, 2016

Hon. Adam Malima, MP in Tanzania and former Deputy Minister of Agriculture, has applauded agriculture researchers in Uganda for using various innovative techniques to give farmers options for addressing major constraints such as pests, diseases, nutrient deficiency, hunger, and climate resilience. Hon. Malima, also a former Minister of Finance, Energy and Minerals, was speaking during a visit of biotech facilities and fields at the National Crops Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI) on August 16,  2016. He noted that the delay in enacting Uganda's Biotechnology and Biosafety Bill which will enable farmers to access biotech crops that promise higher yields, greater resistance to diseases, pests and harsh climate, can be compared to 'human induced poverty'. "One of the solutions to this problem lies in biotechnology", he said. He called upon researchers to help farmers to learn about the economic viability of biotechnology crops.

Hon. Malima headed a delegation of distinguished members of Tanzania society, under the Policy Reform Advocates (PRA). The team comprised of MPs of Tanzania, lawyers, scientists, business personalities, diplomats, and academicians who advocate for the importance of biotechnology in agriculture and other areas of socio-economic development in Tanzania. They were in Uganda on a benchmarking visit for biotechnology research and communication. The team also toured laboratories and crop fields at the institute and applauded the Uganda government for investing in agriculture research.

Dr. Barbara Zawedde- UBIC Coordinator appraised the delegation on the advances in biotechnology research and capacity development in Uganda. Dr. Titus Alicai of NaCRRI, noted that the agency has steadily become a center of excellence in crops research in the region, currently training about 50 students from various African countries, and expecting to train 30 farmers from Somalia in the following month. He urged cooperation in agriculture research and capacity development with all countries in the region so as to realize maximum benefits.

For more information, send an e-mail to UBIC Coordinator at ubic@nacrri@gmail.com.