The Director General of the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) Dr. Ambrose Agona (pictured above) has issued an update on the rejected Biotechnology and Bio-safety bill which Parliament passed in October 2017 that has left some scientists deeply disappointed.
Researchers at NARO were the key proponents of the bill and are worried that President Museveni’s refusal to assent to the GMO bill could affect food security of majority Ugandans but the President argues that GMO seeds should not be randomly mixed with indigenous seeds in case they turn out to have a problem.
Address media at Colline Hotel Mukono, during NARO’s quarterly progress report to the media, Dr. Agona said: “NARO is working closely with the different stakeholders in clarifying the issues raised by President Yoweri Museveni in his response to the Speaker of Parliament to facilitate faster enactment of the bill.”
“Te enactment of this law will facilitate research in addressing the challenge associated with emerging pest and diseases, declining nutritive value of food and increased household incomes through smart agricultural practices.In the biotechnology pipeline, we have varieties for banana, maize, sweet potato amongst others.”
“As you know, our development partners until now funded a substantial part of agricultural research,” Dr. Agona clarified.
“The close of the ATAAS project in June 2018 therefore will impact Agricultural Research as a substantial funding component will have ended so we appeal to the Government of Uganda to prioritize funding to fill the existing gap.”