B4FA Fellow, Lominda Afedraru writes:
It has been more than two decades since the commercial introduction of GMO crops. They have delivered a range of benefits – including stronger yields, better weed control and the ability to fight off pests – to the farmers in the nations that have adopted them.
Uganda is not one of those. And failure to do so, in the eyes of many of its scientists, represents a lost opportunity for the African nation, which is still struggling internally with how to handle GMOs and other new breeding technologies.
The nation’s economy, still heavily dependent on agriculture, would fare much better if its farmers were allowed access to GMO crops designed to cope with regional agricultural issues, said Arthur Makara, executive director for Science Foundation for Livelihoods and Development.
He argues that the growth of GM cassava would allow farmers the opportunity provide raw materials for the pharmaceutical industry through the processing of starch, which also can be used to produce paper and glue. Read more