Genetical engineering has the potential to do for agriculture what mobile technology has done for the communications sector, but to realize this potential, African countries need to adopt flexible and supportive biotechnology regulations, Prof. Calestous Juma has said, Prof. Juma the Director of the science, technology and globalization project at Harvard University was speaking to Journalists at a Public Lecture, organized by the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA) and Held at the Golf Course Hotel.
He emphasized the role of technology in transforming livelihoods, insisting that if Africa didn’t embrace Genetically Modified Plants In its Agriculture production, the problems that have dogged its agriculture will continue and the diseases that affect its agricultural products will continue doing so, citing the Cassava wilt disease, Prof Juma said that with GMOs, it would be no more, cassava production will more than double, and to him this is what transformation is all about. Explaining the benefits of emerging technologies on economic transformation Prof Juma noted that all technological innovations start with deregulation ‘if Africa had restrictive Mobile technology regulations imposed at the outset, it would not have benefited from the technology and even pioneered in fields such as Mobile money transfer “ he said.
And as if to neutralize the fire that would come out of the Professor’s declared support for GMOs, Charles Mugoya the Manager of Agro bio-diversity and Biotechnology Programme at ASARECA said that for them as an organization they take No sides in the war to transform agriculture .
The event was attended by over 300 guests, and was moderated by Vision Group CEO Robert Kabushenga, with Prof. Venasius Baryamureeba as a panelist; barya as he is Known thanked Makerere for Firing him saying that was the best Gift they gave him.
The Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA) is a sub-regional not-for-profit association. It was established in 1994 by ten member countries represented by their national agricultural research for development institutes. The 10 member countries are: Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda. During the 1st ASARECA General Assembly in December 201, South Sudan joined the ASARECA family, making the number of members 11