Ugandan Farmers Reject Genetically Modified Crops

AFRICA, 4 Jul 2011

David Kazungu – Daily Monitor, Uganda

Farmers in the eastern districts of Uganda that constitute the Elgon zone have rejected a proposal by Mr. Arthur Makala, the executive director at Science Foundation for Livelihoods and developments, to start engaging in the cultivation of genetically modified crops that are drought resistant and give high yields.

Mr. Arthur Makala who was meeting the farmers at Resort Hotel in Mbale had suggested that farmers should embrace the Genetically Modified Crops [GMC] for better yields but the farmers rejected it saying GMCs are contaminated with chemicals that may be harmful to their health.

The farmers that Daily Monitor talked to in the this area under their umbrella organization JENGA Community development association said that genetically modified crops are not relevant to communities around the Elgon zone because the soils here are fertile and still have the capacity to accommodate the cultivation of organic crops.

Mr. Anthony Namunane said although a number of crops in this region are dying out because of the attack from pests and diseases, it’s important to find the measures to control these calamities than introduce GMCs.

He added that most farmers believe that GMCs like mushrooms, cassava, bananas and some fruits do not have any test in them saying this is the reason why they think they can be poisonous and not relevant to them.

“What we are lacking is the skill to manage the control of these pests and diseases. We also need to train our farmers on soil conservation especially those living on the slopes of Mt. Elgon so that they can observe better farming methods and continue growing organic crops,” Mr. Namunane said.

Mr. David Ssula, a coffee farmer of Bukiende sub county in Mbale district says, the clonal coffee which was introduced to them has no value compared to the traditional Arabica coffee and that it takes long to mature and has no market.

“It is true we have problems with our traditional organic crops but it is not necessary for researchers to introduce the GMC without sensitizing the farmers on their value and effect on people’s health,” Mr. Ssula said.

However Mr.Makara said it would be good for farmers to embrace the genetically modified crops because farmers needed to involve these lives in commercial farming to increase their incomes.

Go to Original –


Share this article:

DISCLAIMER: The statements, views and opinions expressed in pieces republished here are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of TMS. In accordance with title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. TMS has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is TMS endorsed or sponsored by the originator. “GO TO ORIGINAL” links are provided as a convenience to our readers and allow for verification of authenticity. However, as originating pages are often updated by their originating host sites, the versions posted may not match the versions our readers view when clicking the “GO TO ORIGINAL” links. This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Comments are closed.