In the news...

April 15th, 2013
DSC_1239As Ugandan MPs continue to discuss and review the Ugandan National Biotechnology and Biosafety Bill, journalists, politicians and scientists gathered at the launch of B4FA’s recent book, Insights: Africa’s future – can biosciences contribute? in Kampala, Uganda to discuss the future of Ugandan science and innovation for agriculture.
Among a number of guests of honour, Hon. Obua Denis Hamson, Chair of the Standing Committee on Science and Technology of the DSC_1260Parliament of Uganda, offered his views on the relevance of science for his country: this book “is timely and the right choice… We must entrust our scientists and give them a chance to contribute to national development.”

Regarding journalists in Uganda, “We have very few science reporters among the media fraternity, among journalists designated to report news within Parliament.  And yet we have committees related to science, technology and innovation. I think we need to do more of educating our people on what biosciences, on what biotechnology, can do in transforming the lives of both our small-scale and large-scale farmers.”

B4FA’s Project Leader, Sir Brian Heap, added, “The project that we are working on is part of a long chain of development, from Gregor Mendel’s work with plants to the discovery of the structure of DNA. Plant breeders have been so successful over the years in developing the science that has enabled food production to keep pace with population growth.  Of course we all know that there are 800,000 people every day who are hungry.  The biosciences can help alleviate this situation, but linkages between scientists, the media and politicians are crucial – no one can do it alone.”

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Other guests of honour included Patrick Luganda (Farmers Media Link Ltd.), Peter Wamboga-Mugirya (SciFode), Dr. Andrew Kiggundu (NARO), Dr. Lastus Katende Sserunjogi (Cotton Development Organisation) and Dr. Graham Thiele (CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas).