Biotechnology Tipped to Revolutionize Uganda's AgricultureNovember 13, 2019
"Globally, we have seen young boys and girls who have become spokespersons for what they want the world to be in the future. This contest is therefore aimed at inspiring forward thinking among the country's youth on how Uganda and the rest of the world can tap into the vast potential of modern biosciences including biotechnology to transform agriculture for sustainable development," said Dr. Barbara Zawedde, coordinator of the Uganda Biosciences Information Center (UBIC). She said this during the 7th Annual National Biotechnology Essay Contest awarding ceremony organized by UBIC.
Relating directly to the contest theme—Application of modern biosciences for sustainable agriculture—Dr. Ambrose Agona, the Director General of the National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO), said that "NARO is proud of the products generated used genetic engineering because they will address some of the most difficult production constraints affecting our farmers."
The keynote speaker was Mr. Robert Kabushenga, a farmer, and CEO and Managing Director of Vision Group, which is the most popular media house in the country. He challenged the students to embrace agriculture and start their quest for knowledge about technologies and practices early.
Dr. James Kasigwa, the Director of Policy and Regulation in the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) emphasized that modern technologies and innovations cannot be ignored if the nation's goal is to improve food supply and advance industries. For this reason, his Ministry is mobilizing resources to boost the Innovation Fund Framework Program to support such technologies that will elevate Uganda's bio-economy. He encouraged UBIC to submit the great ideas shared by the youth in the contest.
The contest attracted close to 2,000 participants from 16 tertiary institutions, 35 secondary schools and 15 primary schools from about 20 districts across the country. The awards ceremony also covered the 3rd National Primary Schools Agriculture contest and 1st Annual National Primary Schools Biotech Essay Contest, which are also organized by UBIC.
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