Scientists have said the first batch of locally grown genetically modified potatoes will be on sale in Ugandan markets in 2020.
Alex Barekye, the director of Kachwekano Zonal Agriculture Research Institute in the western district of Rubanda, said agricultural biotechnology research on potatoes is underway to create a genetically modified variety that will be resistant to diseases.
Barekye said three trials have been conducted on the Victoria potato variety and so far, tests did not find any disease yet the yield is high.
This revelation comes barely two weeks after parliament passed the National Biotechnology and Biosafety Bill, in short christened the GMO bill.
Barekye explained that the next phase of the project is to test the transgenic potato in three different areas in Uganda, beginning in November this year, to establish whether the seed crop will thrive in the environment.
President Yoweri Museveni, in a speech read by the second deputy prime minister, Kirunda Kivejinja, pledged more funding towards research to find solutions to drought and diseases hindering productivity in the agricultural sector.
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