ROLE OF BIOTECHNOLOGY AND TRANSGENICS IN BANANAS (MUSA SPP.) IN AFRICA
In the more developed countries, genetically engineered crops contribute greatly to agricultural productivity and sustainability. Over the last few years, the largest growth in the adoption of genetically engineered crops has been in developing countries and this trend is expected to continue. The multinational life sciences companies have been leading the way, but they are focusing primarily on a few crop/trait combinations that have high commercial value and occupy large international markets. Because of the costs and complexity of the issues related to crop biotechnology, many crops and traits of importance to subsistence and resource poor farmers around the world have been overlooked. The Agricultural Biotechnology Support Project (ABSPII), a Cornell University-led and USAID funded consortium of public and private sector institutions, provides support for scientists, regulators, extension workers, farmers and the general public in developing countries to make informed decisions about agricultural biotechnology. When possible, ABSPII creates public-private partnerships to help leverage public funds to help absorb development costs and provide broader distribution channels. Since 2005, ABSPII has been working with the National Agricultural Research Organization in Uganda to establish safe and cost effective programs for the development and commercialization of East African highland bananas (Musa spp.), genetically engineered for black sigatoka and nematode resistance. This paper gives a brief description of the work that has been done to date and discuss the ABSPII based strategy that has been adopted to develop and deliver genetically engineered crops for developing countries.
Shotkoski, F.A., Tripathi, L., Kiggundu, A., Arinaitwe, G. and Tushemereirwe, W. (2010). ROLE OF BIOTECHNOLOGY AND TRANSGENICS IN BANANAS (MUSA SPP.) IN AFRICA. Acta Hortic. 879, 275-279
black sigatoka, East African highland banana, genetic engineering, nematode, product development, tissue culture