Biotech Updates

Uganda Gives OK to Confined Field Trials for Three Crops

July 16, 2010

Confined field trials for cassava with brown streak virus resistance, bacterial wilt resistant banana, and water efficient maize for Africa (WEMA) have been approved by the Ugandan National Biosafety Committee. The applications were filed by the Ugandan National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) to allow the National Crops Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI) to undertake research on the above crops.

During a field day organized at NaCRRI Namulonge on July 9, 2010, Ugandan Minister of State for Agriculture Shem Bagine paid special tribute to agricultural scientists working in the area of developing technologies that can withstand the challenges of pests and diseases in crops, and thanked development partners and donors for supporting research activities. The Minister affirmed that the government of Uganda has increased funding for research because it is the main pillar of development. He challenged agricultural researchers not to keep the results of their research on the shelves, but to link with the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) so that farmer groups in the villages can benefit from them.

The field day was organized with the theme "Innovative Crop Research for Food and Nutrition Security" to expose farmers and other stakeholders to crop research technologies. Visitors at the center toured the NaCCRI facilities. The new NaCRRI Biotech Laboratory will handle research on banana, cassava, sweet potato, and elephant grass.

For more information, contact Olive Nabukonde at