In spite of ongoing campaigns against growing genetically modified crops in
Scientists who gathered in
AATF is a not-for-profit organisation that promotes public-private partnerships for access to and delivery of appropriate agricultural technologies for sustainable use by smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa.
"We as scientists embarked on using biotechnology in developing resistant planting materials because conventional methods proved futile," said Dr Baguma.
READ: East African scientists defend work on GMOs
Dr Baguma added that some crops such as cassava and bananas are difficult to breed for resistance using conventional methods as they are sterile, and thus do not produce fruits.
READ: Ugandan scientists to start trials on GM potato for resistance against blight
The scientists are also carrying out confined field trials on GM maize to test their resistance to stem borer and drought as well as Irish potato to test resistance to Phytophthora infestans, the fungus that causes potato blight.
The GM cotton variety is resistant to pests and diseases, which have contributed to low yields.
In the same year,
Globally, more land in developing countries is under GM crops compared with industrialised countries, for the first time since the introduction of the technology two decades ago, the report said.
"Out of the 28 countries that planted GM crops in 2012, 20 were developing and eight were industrial countries, compared with 19 developing and 10 industrial countries in 2011," said the report, signifying a major shift by farmers to growing GM crops.
Many African countries are currently at different stages of enacting biosafety legislation, ranging from functional, interim and "work-in-progress" national biosafety frameworks.
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