GMOs in Uganda

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GMOs in Uganda describes market for Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in Uganda, including policies that allow or ban them. As of 2012, GMOs have not yet been commercialized in Uganda, but the country has conducted field trials for GE bananas and Bt Cotton.[1]

GE Banana

The GE East African Highland (EAH) Banana was created by Geoffrey Arinaitwe, a Ugandan scientist based in Belgium.[2] Uganda's National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) opened a new research laboratory in 2003 to work on the GE banana.[3] The nation imported GE bananas in 2007 and began field trials of GE bananas that year.[4][5] At the time, the project was expected to produce results in 5-10 years.[6]

As of June 2012:[7]

"Transgenic banana plants expressing the antifungal chitinase RCG3 gene are being developed for efficacy against black Sigatoka.
"State‐of‐the-­art RNA interference (RNAi) technology is being used in transgenic bananas to selectively stop the pathogenic fungi from infecting banana plants with two diseases (black Sigatoka and fusarium wilt) and a pest (banana weevil).
"Two different genes from sweet pepper, pflp and hrap, are being assessed for their ability to confer resistance to bacterial wilt in transgenic bananas. A maize cystatin protein is being used to effectively control nematodes in transgenic banana roots that express the gene under laboratory conditions.
"Transgenic bananas with the RCG3 gene have been field tested for efficacy against black Sigatoka in Uganda and two promising lines have been selected for further study.
"NARO and Venganza Inc. are testing the RNAi technology for resistance to black Sigatoka and fusarium wilt.
"In an ongoing field trial with IITA, twelve promising lines have been identified with high levels of resistance to bacterial wilt. More events with the individual genes and stacked variations are being built and prepared for additional field testing.
"A field trial assessing the nematode resistance technology has been approved by the local regulatory authorities and will be planted soon."[7]

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles


  1. Africa News, "Uganda; GMO Cotton Trials Approved," January 22, 2008.
  2. Africa News, "Uganda; Country to Introduce Genetically Engineered Banana," February 20, 2007.
  3. Africa News, "Africa; Continent Warms Up to Biotechnology," November 14, 2007.
  4. Africa News, "Uganda; Nation Starts 'Historic' Trials On GM Staple Crops," October 5, 2010.
  5. "Uganda last week imported transgenic sweet banana plants resistant to pests and disease from Belgium for field trials; INTERNATIONAL BRIEFS," Food Chemical News, SECTION: Pg. 22(1) Vol. 49 No. 15 ISSN: 0015-6337, May 28, 2007.
  6. Africa News, "Uganda; Researchers Put GM Sweet Banana on Trial in Uganda This Month," May 15, 2007.
  7. 7.0 7.1 The Agricultural Biotechnology Support Project (ABSPII) Product Summaries, June 2012.

External resources

External articles