Crop Biotech Update

Uganda's Minister of S&T Lauds Researchers on Biotech Innovations

September 14, 2016

The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) in Uganda, Hon. Dr. Elioda Tumwesigye has commended agricultural researchers at the National Crops Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI) in Namulonge for using modern biosciences to innovate products to support national development and uplift lives of Ugandans. The products include: disease-resistant, nutrient-enhanced, and drought-tolerant crops developed using genetic engineering, biodiesel, biodegradable packaging material, biopharmaceutical starch, starch glue, and protein enhanced-flour, all made from cassava starch. Dr. Tumwesigye who heads the newest ministry in Uganda, was on familiarization tour of research activities at the institute on August 30, 2016. Hon. Elioda directed the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology (UNCST) to spearhead efforts towards commercialization of biodegradable plastic and biodiesel within the next two years.

He also asked scientists to support his Ministry to sensitize and educate Members of Parliament as well as anti-biotech activists to support enactment of a comprehensive and enabling Biotechnology and Biosafety law. This law will empower researchers to make available improved crops to farmers and increase Uganda's national economic development and competitiveness.

Hon. Tumwesigye also urged researchers to write competitive proposals about their innovations to attract grants under the Innovation Fund and other funders, and to enable commercialization innovations such as biodegradable plastic and biodiesel.

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