News of the availability of drought resistant sorghum and millet varieties announced by Naro in the media this week must be very welcome considering what has happened in Karamoja and many other parts of the country where the Food production has been such a big challenge in the past two months, at least a hundred people have died of starvation, according to some media.
At the start of the next planting season, we anticipate that seeds of sorghum and millet varieties will be made available to farmers for cultivation.
Due to the onset of climate change, we are likely to experience harsher weather conditions and other agricultural challenges including floods and crop diseases, most of which could not be easily overcome as farmers. ordinary without regular scientific interventions to provide solutions. It is expected that policy makers will have more confidence in the results of agricultural research.
Apart from the long drought that makes food production difficult, there are crop pests and diseases that are gradually wiping out staple food crops such as sweet potatoes, cassava, bananas and maize.
This is happening as we welcome more and more refugees, our porous borders let in more unregistered foreigners and our women’s fertility rate (of 5.6 children per woman) is one of the highest raised in the world. We have a rapidly growing population to feed, but our food resources are steadily dwindling.
Some countries in Africa, including Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, and South Africa, among others, consider biotechnology to be one of the best approaches to current agricultural problems.
But as you read this commentary, there are effective biotech solutions to some of the diseases that are killing a number of our major food crops, discovered by our own scientists, but not available to farmers because our policymakers don’t. have not yet decided whether or not to adopt biotechnology.
Graham Brookes, Director of PG Economics, wrote: “We have seen for over twenty years now how the adoption of plant biotechnology in developing countries has contributed to higher yields, safer production and increased incomes. , contributing greatly to reducing poverty, hunger and poverty. malnutrition in certain regions of the world most exposed to these challenges.
Other countries that have improved food production through the adoption of biotechnology include India, Pakistan, Brazil, Bolivia, Mexico, Colombia, Vietnam, Honduras and Bangladesh.