As Uganda’s farm economy languishes, political forces block agricultural biotech innovation

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Credit: One Acre Fund
Credit: One Acre Fund

A maize breeder, with his team at the National Crop Resources Institute, Namulonge, [Dr. Godfrey Asea] has been researching on genetically modified maize commonly referred to as GM maize for more than 10 years.

“We completed those trials for drought and insect resistant maize two years ago, and the data confirmed that the technology works for these two problems but unfortunately we cannot go to the next step; that is the application for environmental release which requires operational frameworks to be in place,” Asea [said].

Dr. Asea says they had to stop the research and destroy all the materials because they don’t have capacity for long term storage in fridges or cold rooms yet.

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“A lot of resources and time have been put in these researches and now the products can’t reach the farmers. Yet drought and insects are continuing to be problem,” [he said.] 

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