Thursday, March 28, 2013

Bioscience should underpin African agriculture, meeting hears

Mekonnen Teshome in Bioscience projects including ones that turn tannery waste into manure can improve crop productivity and food security, and boost agricultural resilience to climate change-related impacts in East Africa, according to scientists.

Agricultural and biosciences scientists who met at the 1st Bio-Innovate Regional Scientific Research Conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, last month (25-27 February), say that using bioscience in East Africa could bring about socioeconomic transformation.

For instance, in Uganda, tannery and slaughter wastes are being turned into manure for crop production and clean water. Other innovations include the production of drought-resistant seed varieties that are suitable to specific agriecological areas.

The Bio-resources Innovations Network for Eastern Africa Development (Bio-Innovate) Program was established in 2010 to support multidisciplinary biosciences and product-based innovation activities in Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. It currently supports nine biosciences innovation and policy consortium projects, bringin

Seyoum Leta, Bio-Innovate programme manager and an environmental biotechnology expert, says that modern biosciences must be harnessed to improve crop productivity. He tells SciDev.Net that Bio-Innovate is implementing programmes in four areas aimed at:  addressing climate change adaptability; food and nutrition security; energy production from industrial waste; and securing freshwater resources....

A farm compound in Ethiopia, shot by A. Davey, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

No comments: