Crop Biotech Update

Public learns about GMOs at ‘Harvest Money' Expo in Uganda

February 22, 2017

The Harvest Money Expo is an annual agricultural exhibition organized by the New Vision, a top media house in Uganda. This event remains as one of the biggest agricultural shows in the country since its maiden event in 2010. With the theme "Climate Smart Agriculture", the event was held on February 17-19, 2017. This year's edition of the expo attracted over 500 local and international exhibitors in the agriculture industry to showcase different technologies and share experiences with the general public on how to improve agricultural productivity and incomes.

Uganda Biosciences Information Center (UBIC) participated in the event to showcase the agricultural research tools/products and their significance to agricultural advancement in the country. The UBIC stall was a bee-hive of activities over the three-day exhibition registering over 300 visitors who thronged in to learn about the various crop improvement tools being deployed by the National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) to address the key crop production constraints such as pests, diseases, and drought.

Local and international exhibitors, policy makers, farmers, students, and a range of professionals among others engaged the UBIC team in constructive dialogue concerning topical issues on how research and development can contribute to sustainable and profitable agriculture in Uganda.

A considerable number of guests at the UBIC stall offered to try out GM crops developed to circumvent some of the incessant challenges faced by farmers in Uganda in their personal farms. However, they were disappointed to learn that the current policy environment in the country does not allow general use of GM crops, some of which they desperately needed to address crop production challenges. As their feedback, farmers called on the relevant authorities to enact laws that will give them a chance to have access to GM crops.

For more information about biotechnology in Uganda, contact the UBIC coordinator at ubic.nacrri@gmail.com.