Africa Needs GMOs – Harvard Don

Prof. Calestous Juma

Prof. Calestous Juma has said Africa Needs GMOs to help transform its Agriculture
Prof. Calestous Juma has said Africa Needs GMOs to help transform its Agriculture

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 .

Prof.Baryamureeba Speaking to Journalists at the Event

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

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9 thoughts on “Africa Needs GMOs – Harvard Don

  1. AFRICA WAKE UP GMOs are very toxic. They cause intestinal leakages, cancer, and many more this is part of the population genocide who is paying this professor? I can’t believe you said that, Gmo is banned in European countries. Please don’t kill us. All we need is better farming methods not playing God in the Corn fields. A professor saying this. Have you seen what GMO have done in Argentina people are sick children are born with birth defects. I hope the Biotech giants are not paying this professor. ” Biotech companies will pay some credited professor to sell the poison to Africa. Wake up Africa and do research before they wipe us out. They want Patent rights on all food produce. It gets worse when you plant their seeds without their permission, now if the GMO have contaminated the whole land who has the patent rights of the food. In other words, one cannot plant crops without get the owners of the GMO seeds license, other wise face criminal charges for patent rights. Wake up Africa.

  2. GMOs are very toxic, they cause intestinal cancer, birth defects. In Europe they are banned. The Documentary about Argentina needs to be watched by all Africans. If they want to get a glimpse of what Gmos have done to both people, livestock and the environment. Today, even the so called professor are paid by some biotech companies to usher in the agenda of population control. Another problem is Patent Rights. Once these biotech (GMO) companies introduce their seeds, one will not have the right to use them unless he or she has the license from them, and many at time they put farmers in debt of which they cannot pay off and they have to keep on producing the crops. Watch “Food INC” to see how farmers are set up. One will not be able to grow if they have contaminated the whole land with GMOs, If caught using their seeds it means one has violated their patent rights. now if one does not have a right to grow crops the result is massive starvation and death. Wake up and do your own research. Africa do research on GMOs it is very imperative.

  3. It is nice to hear that Prof. Baryamureeba is very happy for having put Makerere University behind him and moved on. This is a lesson to our politicians. I do sincerely hope that people like Col. Besigye will learn form this and allow people Hon. Nandala Mafabi or Mugisha Muntu contest for Presidency come 2016. Clinging to positions is a thing of the past. Bravo Prof. Barya

    1. If he had put Makere behind him, he shouldnt be mentioning it here. The occassion isnt Makere related…In truth he is either venting or is nostalgic…like a jilted lover who keeps refferring to their ex. Instaed of moving on quietly..

  4. To all those against biotechnology, your concern is understandably. It is largely premised on the fear of the unknown. Unfortunately, science is not based on emotions and wild imaginations but on empirical evidence or facts.

    It is only the truth that will liberate your mind from toxic information that has been propagated over the years. Let us face it, application of modern crop biotechnology has been in existence for the last 17 years. Do you mean to say that it is only within this period that we have experienced cases of cancer? Or has it been there before? Notwithstanding the dangers associated with cancer, it will continue to be unless a scientific solution is found.

    Others have demonized biotechnology on the basis of enslavement by multinational corporations, saying that farmers will be forced to buy seeds from them. Let me ask you, is the buying of seeds new with our farmers in Africa? Farmers who know the value of buying seeds will certainly buy. What is the rational of clinging to a traditional seed that is susceptible to pests and diseases with low productivity levels and prone to effects of climate change such as drought and floods – when we actually have better options to address those production constraints through application of modern biotechnology.

    It is not enough to just tell people to refuse biotechnology and its products. It will help if you can provide viable alternatives that will help address critical issues that affect farmers such as mentioned above, including nutrition and deteriorating soils., as well as feeding our ever increasing human population.

    1. We do understand empirical evidence, but 3 years ago when the flu vaccine was on top of the news, most scientist where enforcing it. What has happened to some of the people who received it? it culminated in narcolepsy , the vaccine contains Mercury, now, is it good for the body? No, with empirical evidence it makes you immune system fight you own body instead of the virus. When you get GMOs with a toxic chemical in it to kill off crop diseases. What happens when it get in ones body? Do we still need evidence? Coke cola contains aspartame (artificial sweetener) is it good for you? When the empirical evidence shows it cause brain tumors, “Fibromyalgia” and several more. Do you need more evidence to tell you that fluoridated water is bad for you there is empirical evidence, but why do they put it in the water? Hitler used it on the Jews. like I always say, do your own research. Who is paying the government to endorse it. Read the UN agenda 21 and educate yourself. knowledge is power. people need to do their own research. Do not hear it from me, look it up yourself. How can food containing a pest killer in it be nutritious? the professor grew up eating organic food. Does he really care about the general population. Ask why certain disease are on the rise? processed foods are not good for you, and yet the so called scientist endorse them. when you visit the doctor with complication in your digestive system what comes in their prescription- “avoid processed foods” do we really need more empirical evidence? lord have mercy.

  5. African has so many such academics languishing on a salary in the West. They seem to be worthless at best. Genetic modification of crops isn’t bad. What is bad is the lessoning behind it. The big companies behind crop modification do it in such a way that the seedlings produce barren plants. This is done so that these companies can control seedlings. Thus seedlings would eventually become so expensive that the cost of food would sky rocket. We can learn a lesson from Microsoft’s monopolization of computer software. Without that, we would be paying about half the price we pay for computers.

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