Biotech Updates

Uganda Puts Up Biotech Center for Cassava

May 16, 2008

A cassava biotech capacity project has been launched as a collaborative venture between scientists of the National Crops Resources Research Institute in Uganda and the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA), through its Agro-biodiversity and Biotechnology Program. “Because of ASARECA's support, we will now build capacity to perform very high and advanced science which we normally borrow from Europe and America," said Dr. Anton Bua, an agricultural economist and team leader for the National Cassava Program.

Research is currently being done to duplicate efforts made by scientists at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center (DDPSC) in the United States where they introduced a genetically modified gene in a cassava plant that confers resistance to Cassava Mosaic Disease (CMD). Results are promising. Cassava is the most consumed crop in East and Central Africa and is noted for its ability to thrive in marginal conditions.

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