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Recently, Daily Monitor published an opinion titled, “Future of Africa’s agriculture lies in sustainable green farming, not GMOs.” As the saying goes, “people are entitled to their opinions but not their own facts”, that is why I have written – to let the public know the truth and facts about genetic engineering in Uganda.
The crops (maize, soy beans, cassava, bananas and groundnuts) claimed to be genetically modified and growing in West Nile are not GMOs. There are no known ways of effectively dealing with the new pests and diseases other than the use of modern biotechnology methods such as genetic engineering. At Naro, we are undertaking research using these modern methods to develop crops that will overcome the new challenges but we have not yet released any of the promising varieties. There is no genetically engineered crop or seed being grown in any part of the country yet.
Since GMO research is mostly public-sector funded, the issue of patent ownership by private companies will not arise. The farmers will only incur the cost of buying new seed just like they have been doing in the past. The choice of storing seed from a previous harvest or buying new seed is one an individual farmer will need to make.
Ugandans should not resist this technology simply because some Western countries have not accepted it. Let us not forget the countries that are resisting GMOs are food secure and are not grappling with pests and diseases for which traditional crop improvement solutions are not possible. Some western countries do not need GMOs but we do.
Read full, original post: Uganda: No Genetically Engineered Crop Is Being Grown in Uganda Yet