We came to learn about a month ago that [Ugandan] President [Yoweri] Museveni had referred the Biotechnology and Bio-safety Bill back to parliament for further debate.
He was reportedly concerned about some issues that according to him were not well clarified in the bill.
His refusal to sign the bill at that time was welcomed by many anti-science activists and some MPs that are now preparing to ensure it is not passed this time.
The truth, however, is that the president’s strong support for science and innovation is well known.
About 10 years ago he commissioned a modern biotechnology laboratory at Kawanda for the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) to carry out agricultural biotechnology research.
The president has often blamed parliament for delaying to debate and pass the Biotechnology and Bio-safety Bill.
Last year on World Food Day in Rubanda District, the Minister of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries, Vincent Ssempijja, urged farmers to embrace biotech crops.
Through biotech research NARO has come up with some solutions to the crop diseases and harsh climatic conditions that are killing and reducing our main food crops like bananas, cassava, sweet potatoes, and Irish potatoes, maize, and rice. Our president is an accomplished farmer to whom none of the mentioned issues is new. It is very likely he will later sign the bill when the clauses he queried are streamlined.
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