Biotech Updates

Ministry of STI Technocrats Get Primes on Biotechnology and Biosafety

April 3, 2019

Uganda Biosciences Information Center (UBIC) conducted a capacity building workshop for the recently recruited officials from the ministries of environment and science and technology on March 19-20, 2019 at National Crops Resources Research Institute.

The workshop aimed to update the ministry officials on the latest developments in agricultural biotechnology research and development, as well as to highlight the basic principles of risk assessment and socio-economic considerations in regulatory decision making, and role of line ministries in biotechnology regulation.

While giving his remarks on the role of Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Isaac Wamasembe – a plant protection inspector noted that it is very important for new ministries such as science and technology, to know the relevant legal instruments where they derive their mandate. He further noted, that it is quite imperative for the ministry to ensure a good biotechnology law, if it were to satisfactorily fulfill its mandate. Participants were taken through the different biotech laboratory facilities, and also visited the confined field trials of genetically engineered cassava.

In his remarks, the Director of STI Regulation and Biosafety, Dr. James Kasigwa, on behalf of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation indicated that he was impressed with the human and infrastructural capacity built by NARO in biotechnology research. He encouraged NARO to continue making progress with the research ministry puts in place the necessary regulatory framework. He also strongly recommended that NARO should consider having patents on some of its innovations to enhance its competiveness.

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