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Crop Biotech Update

Youth and Educators Pledge to Support Biotech Application in Uganda

January 29, 2020
Students conduct an experiment in the biotech lab at the National Crops Resources Research Institute during the internship

Over the past six years, Uganda Biosciences Information Center (UBIC) has registered remarkable progress in cultivating a positive perception of recent advances in science among the Ugandan public. Key to this accomplishment has been its flagship annual National Biotech Essay Contests. To consolidate the positive impact created by this initiative, UBIC conducted intensive internships for close to 60 teachers, publishers, and students from institutions of learning nationwide from January 13 to 24, 2020.

The internships provided participants with an opportunity to acquaint themselves with the modern agricultural biotechnology work going on at various National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) institutes and interact with scientists/experts. Participants were further equipped to pass on this knowledge to their peers, students, and communities.

"You are now empowered. Go be champions of science in your homes, at your schools, and with your peers," noted Dr. Barbara Zawedde, UBIC Coordinator, while closing the students' internship on January 17. Over 20 students were trained. The teachers' internship which ran from January 20 to 24 was attended by 27 teachers from high schools and tertiary institutions, and 12 biology and agriculture textbook publishers. Both cohorts expressed concern that there is a lot of misinformation on biotechnology and the role of biosafety in their communities. They pledged to be champions and to educate others about the role of biotechnology especially to address climate change-related challenges.

For more information, please write to the Coordinator, UBIC at ubic.nacrri@gmail.com.

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