The following is an edited excerpt.
Banana farmers and consumers in Uganda should expect to experience the first local genetically modified varieties of bananas in three years time, according to scientists at the National Agricultural Research Organisation.
Presently being grown on a confined trial, the genetically modified bananas are expected to have vitamin A and Iron nutrients, which are lacking in the indigenous banana species. The genetically modified variety is also expected to resist diseases and pests such as bacterial wilt, weevils and nematodes.
Dr Andrew Kiggundu of the National Agricultural Research Laboratory explained that the trial, funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation involves developing genes that are resistant to bacterial wilt, weevils and nematodes that are largely the biggest challenge for banana production in the country.
In addition, he said they have been able to add vitamin A and Iron to the banana genes being developed meaning that banana farmers would be able to have crops that are not only resistant to the pest and diseases but also possessing nutrients that have been lacking in crop.
Read the full story here: Uganda’s First GMO Bananas Due In 2016