B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:
We are stuck in a paradoxical situation where the government is urging farmers to work hard when it is not doing much on its part to overcome the challenging national agricultural production constraints that could be reduced by the use of biotechnology.
An online newsletter, Genetic Literacy Project, dated August 31 2017, carried an article titled “Uganda: From scorching drought to ravaging worms, poor pay, the price for missing out on a biotech solution.”
It credits Uganda for having one of the leading biotechnology research teams in Africa under Naro but points out that after years of successful research work the country’s subsistence farmers are losing their crops to pests and drought.
This year the country lost several of its maize fields to the dreaded armyworm, following a prolonged drought much of last year. Chronic crop diseases are wiping out the country’s staples including cassava, banana, and rice.