Saturday 28 October 2017


 As many of you are already equipped with the information that the parliament of the Republic of Uganda finally passed the Uganda National Biotechnology and Biosafety Bill into law, this shows how much interest we have in solving global bio-science related challenges. This came after years of some Honorable members singing their usual song titled "bill requires more research and time to understand" The bill had been tabled a number of times so the speaker requested them to go read articles at the Science and technology dept at parliament. Thank God they understood the bill this time round and passed it into law. I recommend that inquiries into any bill regarding science be conducted by MPs with a scientific background to enable quicker and efficient interpretation of information gathered.

To avail biotechnology products to the public, there should be a national legal framework that protects the consumer and environment this being a law aimed at ensuring safe use of biotechnology in the country. This is demanded for by the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (CPB) to which Uganda is a signatory.
In Uganda the first meeting about bio-safety was convened in march 1994 by the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology (UNCST) and then the National Bio-safety Committee(NBC) was formed in 1996 that drafted the biotechnology bill immediately.
Biosafety here refers to the need to protect human health and the environment from the possible adverse effects of the products of modern biotechnology.
April 2008; The first success in biotechnology is received and this was the approval of the National Biotechnology and Biosafety Policy. This was aimed at promoting biotechnology research. This came five years after H.E YK Museveni opened the first National Biotechnology center at Kawanda Agricultural Research Institute. Agriculture has been a sector the president has put on emphasis in all of his terms and we give him credit for having wanted the National Biotechnology And Biosafety Bill passed earlier than 2017.
Many NGOs created awareness and put pressure on the legal minds to adopt biotechnology, these include Uganda Biotechnology And Biosafety Consortium (UBBC), Uganda Biosciences Information Centre (Ubic) among others.
And finally the bill was passed into law and forwarded to the president.

Scientists upon completion of research will be free to release products to consumers after being proven harmless to human health. With these products ranging from pharmaceuticals, plants among others will solve many of the challenges the country faces. From confined fields to our world, the farmer will have that banana wilt resistant banana soon and the army worm will be eradicated too.
A lot of research has been ongoing for so many years thus from the table below, many products are expected to be up for grab.

Till next time, biotechnology for sustainability.

Bsc In Biotechnology
Makerere University

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