In the news...

African conference confirms growing strength of plant disease research network

May 18th, 2018 / University of Bristol

Delegates from ten African countries joined counterparts from the UK at the CONNECTED Virus Network Africa Launch Conference, which took place in Kampala, Uganda.
Bristol University-based CONNECTED team members Dr Diane Hird and Richard Wyatt attended to co-ordinate operations along with local National Crops Resources Research Institute staff, following pre-conference organisation …

Uganda’s biggest agricultural problems

May 15th, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow, Michael Ssali, writes:
Agriculture is the science of growing crops and rearing animals for food and income.
The sector, which is our biggest employer, is however faced with a number of challenges that need immediate attention.
They range from climate change, incurable crop diseases, a fast growing population, land …

Farmers anxiously wait for Uganda’s GMO potato

May 14th, 2018 / Alliance for Science, US

Farmers in Uganda and elsewhere frequently apply fungicides to protect their potato crops from the devastating late blight disease (LBD), which can ruin the entire harvest. Ugandan scientists have used the tools of genetic engineering to make a popular potato variety, the Victoria, resistant to LBD — reducing the need …

Banana21: from gene discovery to deregulated golden bananas

May 9th, 2018 / Frontiers in Plant Science

Uganda is a tropical country with a population in excess of 30 million, more than 80% of whom live in rural areas. Bananas (Musa spp.) are the staple food of Uganda with the East African Highland banana, a cooking banana, the primary starch source. Unfortunately, these bananas are low in …

Uganda: Agriculture scientists want review on GMO law

May 2nd, 2018 / New Vision, Uganda

Agricultural Scientists have called for a review of the recommendations made by the Parliamentary Committee on Science, Technology and Innovation in “The national biosafety act 2017”.
They say the recommendations are too restrictive, arguing that it might lead into a bad law that is likely to stifle efforts of Ugandan scientists …

Ugandan legislator on why his nation needs to ‘wake up’ on GMOs

May 1st, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Robert Kafeero Sekitoleko is an engineer, legislator and chairperson of the Sectoral Committee on Science and Technology in Uganda’s Parliament. He has faced the wrath of opposing forces in an effort to drive the debate and passing of the Biotechnology and Biosafety Bill to allow GMO crop breeding in Uganda. …

Banana experts converge in Tanzania for meeting

April 24th, 2018 / AllAfrica

Agricultural experts are meeting today to discuss how to improve production of banana, a staple food in eastern and central Africa. In so doing, they will review a five-year project that aims to expand and speed up existing banana breeding efforts in Tanzania and Uganda. The breeding is intended to …

Uganda: ‘Disaster’: Scientists condemn GM law amendments

April 20th, 2018 / Sunrise, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Henry Lutaaya reports:
A number of scientists have expressed shock and anger at the proposed restrictive requirements that were included in the long-awaited law on Biotechnology with some labelling them a disaster and a huge setback for the country.
The angry reactions come in the wake of a new report …

Seed companies must show commitment to end food insecurity in Africa

April 17th, 2018 / New Vision, Uganda

The rainy season is already here with us and most farmers have begun to plant various seeds nearly across Africa.
As the farmers descend upon their farms, one big issue that lingers among researchers is the inability of these farmers to access certified seed that can serve their immediate …

Potential of GMOs to combat crop diseases converting skeptical Ugandan politicians

April 11th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Ugandan banana breeders at Kawanda have improved local banana varieties to resist the devastating banana bacterial wilt.
Potato breeders at Kachwekano in partnership with International Centre for Potato have improved the locally grown Victoria Potato variety to resist late blight disease so that potato farmers will not have to buy fungicides.
Cassava …