Handbook on Agriculture, Biotechnology and Development
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Handbook on Agriculture, Biotechnology and Development

Edited by Stuart J. Smyth, Peter W.B. Phillips and David Castle

This book is a compendium of knowledge, experience and insight on agriculture, biotechnology and development. Beginning with an account of GM crop adoptions and attitudes towards them, the book assesses numerous crucial processes, concluding with detailed insights into GM products. Drawing on expert perspectives of leading authors from 57 different institutions in 16 countries, it provides a unique, global overview of agbiotech following 20 years of adoption. Many consider GM crops the most rapid agricultural innovation adopted in the history of agriculture. This book provides insights as to why the adoption has occurred globally at such a rapid rate.
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Chapter 48: Incremental benefits of genetically modified bananas in Uganda

Enoch M. Kikulwe, José Falck-Zepeda and Justus Wesseler


Bananas (Musa spp) are the fourth most important food crop in the world, following rice, wheat and maize. They are grown in more than 150 countries, producing approximately 138.4 million tonnes of banana every year (FAOSTAT, 2010). Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), where banana provides more than a quarter of the required dietary energy for over 100 million people, produces approximately 33 per cent of the global banana output. The East African region (including Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Burundi) is the major banana-producing and-consuming region in SSA. Uganda alone produces roughly 10.2 million tonnes (FAOSTAT, 2010) as the world's second producer after India, with the highest per capita consumption of cooking banana in the world (Clarke, 2003). Banana production in Uganda is, however, limited by several productivity constraints such as pests, diseases, soil depletion and poor agronomic practices. To address those constraints, the country has invested significant resources in research and development and other publicly funded programmes, pursuing approaches over both the short and long term. Uganda formally initiated its short-term approach in the early 1990s, involving the collection of both local and foreign germplasm for the evaluation and selection of cultivars tolerant to productivity constraints. The long-term approach, launched in 1995, includes breeding for resistance to the productivity constraints using conventional breeding methods and genetic modification. Genetic modification projects in Uganda target the most popular and infertile cultivars that cannot be improved through conventional breeding.

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