Benefits, costs, and consumer perceptions of the potential introduction of a fungus-resistant banana in Uganda and policy implications
In: Genetically modified crops in Africa: Economic and policy lessons from countries south of the Sahara
Banana is a staple crop in Uganda. Ugandans have the highest per capita consumption of cooking bananas in the world (Clarke 2003). However, banana production in Uganda is limited by several productivity conÂ¬straints, such as insects, diseases, soil depletion, and poor agronomic practices. To address these constraints, the country has invested significant resources in research and development (R&D) and other publicly funded programs, purÂ¬suing approaches over both the short and long term. Uganda formally initiÂ¬ated its short-term approach in the early 1990s; it involves the collection of both local and foreign germplasms for the evaluation and selection of cultivars tolerant to the productivity constraints. The long-term approach, launched in 1995, includes breeding for resistance to the productivity constraints using conventional breeding methods and genetic engineering. Genetic engineerÂ¬ing projects in Uganda target the most popular and infertile cultivars that canÂ¬not be improved through conventional (cross) breeding.
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