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Uganda developing GM bananas with six times more vitamin A

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Staff writer ▼ | May 31, 2016
Uganda GM bananas
Genetically modified   After seven years working on the project

Uganda's research center is developing a new, genetically modified banana with six times the normal level of vitamin C. Their research aims to both improve the nutritional value of the fruit, as well as boost production.

National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) acting director, Andrew Kigundu, has spent seven years working on the project.

“The idea of work on genetically engineered bananas is a result of many years of testing on Banana production. It is primarily to solve critical problems of productivity experienced by farmers. It is as a result of many devastating issues as well as other issues, such as drought and the deficiency in micro nutrient inherent in bananas,” he said.

The research center has also started a culture of plants test. A process that takes place under the supervision of a team of biologists. The objective is to put a reliable product at the disposal of farmers.

The experiments started in 2005 and work is still ongoing to improve on the content of the fruit and resistance to parasites.

Uganda is the largest per capita consumer of bananas in the world with an average person eating between 750 grams and a kilogram every day.

The East African country is the first African country to turn toward GM to improve its production of bananas.


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