plants like beans that were planted in this second season are already rotting due to too much water which, according to Uganda's rainfall season, is not supposed to be that heavy

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Dr.Talengera, a scientist and researcher on the banana programme at the National Agriculture Research Laboratories at Kawanda,these are some of the GM technologies that are being worked on at Kawanda

Researchers want more investment in the dissemination of technologies being developed in research stations to help farmers cope with climate change.

The director of the National Crop Resources Research Institute (NaCCRI), Dr.Godfrey Asea said a lot of research is ongoing to help farmers cope with climate change but this may not be effective if farmers they can't reach them.

"Much as I come from the research and development side, most of the technologies developed will not make an impact unless someone invests in implementation," said Asea.

He said that there is need for more funds in the dissemination of information from research institutions to the beneficiaries.

According to Asea, Uganda is already experiencing effects of climate change due to the recurrent incidences of drought like it was in Karamoja region recently; two years ago it was in Teso region and increased floods and landslides in mountainous areas of the country.

Asea was on Tuesday presenting a paper on the role of biotechnology in combating climate change in Uganda, at Makerere University food science and technology.

This was during the second biennial national Agriculture Bio-science conference.

Arthur Makara, the Co-Chair of NABIO215 conference organization committee said that the theme of the meeting is in line with the sustainable development goad no 13 which calls for urgent action to combat climate change.

"At the meeting lessons and experiences on strategic applications of agro biosciences research for climate smart sustainable agriculture will be shared among scientists and researchers from different parts of the country," said Makara.

Barbara Zawedde Mugwanya from the Uganda Biosciences information Center (UBIC) added that the meeting is relevant to Uganda because of the effects of climate change that are taking place in the country.

She said that plants like beans that were planted in this second season are already rotting due to too much water which, according to Uganda's rainfall season, is not supposed to be that heavy.

"The solution is for researchers to breed seeds and crops that can tolerate the water because we have  been focusing on drought tolerance  but now this is another challenge which can be addressed through  technologies in biosciences like biotechnoly, to come  up with tolerant varieties," said Mugwanya.

Prospero from the Uganda Biotechnology and Biosafety Consortium (UBBC) said that meeting will increase awareness on the importance of biotechnology not only in foods but in the health and energy industry as well.

Currently the public in Uganda is only looking at biotechnology in terms of foods forgetting the issue of medications like insulin for treating diabetes.


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article thumbnailFarmers in the East African Highlands, centred on Uganda, depend on bananas as a staple food crop and a source of income. The harvest, however, is threatened by many pests and diseases that also...
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The vast majority of the bananas currently grown and consumed were not conventionally bred but are selections made over probably thousands of years from naturally occurring hybrids. Cultivated bananas are very nearly sterile and as a consequence are not propagated from seed but rather through vegetative propagation, primarily suckers as well as more recently micropropagated or tissue cultured bananas. These factors, very old selections, near sterility and vegetative propagation, mean that these bananas have not been genetically improved either for resistance or improved quality and are becoming increasing in affected by serious pests and diseases.

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