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NATIONAL BIOTECH CONTEST 2016

TOPIC: In your own opinion, how will modern


biotechnology change Ugandas agricultural
sector by the year 2025?
NAME: KAHWA IVAN
INSTITUTION: MBARARA UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY.
EMAIL: kahwaivan55@gmail.com/kahwaivan55@hotmail.com/kahwa.ivan@yahoo.com
SKYPE: kahwaivan55.
TELEPHONE: 0785458826/0750955100.
GENDER: MALE.
ADDRESS: P.O BOX 1410 MBARARA.
COLLABORATING TEACHER: MR.OMARA SANDREW.
TELEPHONE: 0705423304/0782870001.

Modern biotechnology is the use of living systems and organisms to develop or make products,
or make products, or any technological application that uses biological systems, living organism
or derivatives thereof, to make or modify products or processes for specific use). It can also refer
to the integration of natural science and organisms, cells, thereof, and molecular analogues for
products and services. According to Concise Oxford English Dictionary, biotechnology refers to
exploitation of biological processes, especially the genetically manipulation of microorganisms
for the production of antibiotics, hormones, genetically modified organisms to mention but a
few. The vision for biotechnology in Uganda will include meeting needs of the very poor by
developing cheaper products such as diagnostics for crop diseases. In fact, the next wave of
many biotechnology products will piggyback on the mobile revolution. Therefore Uganda is
ahead of the curve and has great potential to provide leaders in the field by the year 2025.
The use of herbicide resistant crops, for example, Ugandan women spend approximately 200
hours a hectare a year weeding. Adopting herbicide tolerant crops which have been produced by
the modern biotechnologists will have a significant impact on womens welfare and by extension
will improve the living standards of farming households in Uganda which will continue with the
agricultural sector in the 2025 year target.
Modern biotechnology will allow both crop producers and ranchers to grow and rear more food
and animals on less land using farming practices that are environmentally sustainable. These
include planting crops which have a short growth life span and rearing of animals which give
yields either per month or annually. This alone will put the state of Ugandan agricultural sector
as the middle income earning sector in the government of Uganda as stipulated above.
The Ugandas agricultural sector through the introduction of genetically modified organisms will
be reliable since some of the GMOs made survive extreme weather conditions such as frost,
flooding and drought as the countrys regions experiences different climatic conditions. For
example the Karamoja Region experience a semi-arid climate just to mention but a few. So this
will enable growing of crops in different climatic conditions.
Since different crops thrive in different soil PH, modern biotechnology has introduced crops
which can be used in both alkaline and acidic conditions. This will improve on the use of waste
land which could not be used by farmers, thereby increasing the crop yields and hence raising

exports to outside countries which in turn bring foreign exchange thus improving on the
agricultural sector.
Clearly, agricultural pollution through the wastes of agricultural produce e.g. animal dung, plant
residues among others would be prevented. This will be done through the speed up breeding
programmes for plants, livestock and fish to extend the range of traits that can be addressed.
Animal feeds and feeding practices are being changed by biotechnology to improve animal
nutrition and reduce environmental waste in target year 2025 in Uganda.
Though micro propagation which involves taking small sections of plant tissue, or entire
structures such as buds, and culturing them under artificial conditions to regenerate complete
plants. Micro propagation is particularly useful for maintaining valuable plants, breeding
otherwise difficult-to-breed species (e.g. many trees), and speeding up plant breeding and
providing abundant plant material for research. For example banana shoot tips can be
successfully cultured by means of regenerating disease-free banana plantlets from healthy tissue.
This alone will improve on the rates of hunger breakages in some parts of Uganda by the year
2025.
Biotechnology through genetic engineering will lead to the creation of new varieties of crops
which will help in curbing down nutritional deficiencies faced by both the children and adults in
Uganda. The areas include Northern Uganda, Karamoja region which are affected by
deficiencies like kwashiorkor. For example a genetically engineered potato that produces about
one-third to one-half more protein than usual, including substantial amounts of all the essential
amino acids. This will aim at eliminating childhood mortality by providing children with clean
water, better food and vaccines, since the potato will have passed preliminary field trials and
tests for allergens and toxins.
Ugandas agricultural sector through artificial insemination and multiple ovulation/embryo
transfer will have all it livestock improved. These processes have aided the global diversity and
strength of livestock. AI is the transfer of sperm and MOET is the transfer of ova or a fertilized
embryo from an animal in one part of the world, to an animal in another part of the world. The
above mentioned will make Ugandas agricultural economy become a middle income in 2025.

However, modern biotechnology has caused diseases. For example cancer, heart disease, among
others. This is because of the toxic substances used in the modification of crops and animals
which also will arise as a big threat to the peoples in Uganda mostly the newly born generation
since the products of modern biotechnology are being consumed, by mostly pregnant women in
Uganda in 2025.
Lastly, Modern biotechnology represents unique applications of science that can be used for the
betterment of Ugandan societies through development of crops with improved nutritional quality,
resistance to pests and diseases, and reduced cost of production. Modern Biotechnology, in the
form of genetic engineering, is a facet of science that has the potential to provide important benefits
if used carefully and ethically. Society should be provided with a balanced view of the
fundamentals of biotechnology and genetic engineering, the processes used in developing
transgenic organisms, the types of genetic material used, and the benefits and risks of the new
technology.

REFERENCES:
1. UN Convention on Biological Diversity:
2. European Federation of Biotechnology):
3. Lemaux, Peggy G. 2008. Genetically Engineered Plants and Foods:
4. Biotechnology Innovation Organization
5. http://www.publiv.asu.edu/~langland/biotech-intro.html
6. http://www.europabio.org/what-biotechnology
7. Benefits of Food Biotechnology Fact Sheet.
8. Food, Agriculture, Conservation and Trade Act of 1990(FACTA), Public law 101-624,
Title XUS, Subtitle A, Section 1603.1990. The National Agricultural Law Centre.