DR.ELIODA ROOTS FOR SERICULTURE RESEARCH WHILE ACQUAINTING SELF WITH AGRICULTURAL INNOVATIONS AT NARO
As we buckle up for the middle-income status by 2020, the minister responsible for science, technology, and innovation has called for rigorous research in sericulture to diversify agriculture sector and provide an alternative route to prosperity.
Sericulture is the rearing silkworms for the production of silk. Sericulture if adopted can help supplement rural incomes, control urban migration while providing raw material, for the textile industry. There is no substantial investment required.
Hon. Dr. Elioda Tumwesigye made the appeal while visiting National Agricultural Research Laboratories (NARL) at Kawanda, and the National Crops Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI) in Namulonge. The purpose of the visit was chiefly to acquaint himself with the agricultural innovations in regard to ensuring food security and combating malnutrition.
The NARO Deputy Director Dr. Yona Baguma and Dr. W.K. Tushemereirwe the NARL director treated the minister to a guided tour of the biotechnology facilities – laboratories and improved banana varieties that are not only resistant to the notorious bacterial wilt but are also enhanced to provide nutrition value.
At NaCCRI the minister was astounded by the commercially viable products arrived at by researchers at the institute, and instructed Uganda National Council for Science and Technology (UNCST) forthwith to fast track large scale manufacturing of the eco-friendly items. The biodegradable packaging material made out of cassava waste, for example, is a better alternative to the current polyethene shopping bags that have continued to disrupt our eco-system.
Impressed by the work undertaken by the scientist the minister is set to visit other zonal research centres for a better understanding of the country-wide challenges that need addressing by his ministry