Biotech Updates

Biotechnology a Key Part of Uganda's Food Security Strategy

October 18, 2017

In a speech read for him by the 3rd Deputy prime minister Hon. Kirunda Kivejinja, President Yoweri Museveni yet again highlighted the critical role of modern biotechnology in ensuring sustainable food and nutrition security for the country's 38 million people. This was during celebrations to mark World Food Day (WFD) on October 16, 2017 in Rubanda District, South Western Uganda. WFD came just days after the country's parliament passed the National Biosafety Act, ending years of legislation on whether Uganda farmers can have access to genetically modified crops and other tools of modern biotechnology. Cognizant of the WFD's theme, Change the future of migration: Invest in food security and rural development, the president asserted the key relevance of modern biotechnology in providing safe and nutritious food not only to its citizens but also the 1.8 million refugees it currently hosts.

Speaking at the same event, the Director General of the National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO), Dr. Ambrose Agona, commended researchers for their efforts in advocating for science to pass the Biotechnology Act. Going forward, NARO will now be able to conduct open field trials and National Performance Trials towards final deregulation and commercialization of a variety of food security crops that have been in the research pipeline for close to two decades.

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