Ugandan businessman, Mr. Erostus Nsubuga, has called on agricultural biotechnology stakeholders in East Africa to advocate for conducive policies that will enable private sector to exploit the technology and create job opportunities for the youth.

 

 Mr. Nsubuga, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Agro-Genetic Technologies (AGT) Limited, and Chair of Uganda Biotechnology and Biosafety Consortium (UBBC), lamented that local businesses are yet to be recognized as key players in the biotech product development process within the region.

 

Mr. Nsubuga added that involving local private sector players and amplifying their voices in the agri-biotech discourse could help overcome some policy challenges while highlighting business opportunities for many young Africans. "Biotechnology gives agriculture an edge as a favorable sector to unlocking Africa's potential in entrepreneurship, especially for the youth. Local private sector players should be involved from the onset," he remarked.

 

The AGT founder also appealed to the banking sector to give its full support behind empowering women and youth with easy access to agricultural credit, adding that this may encourage them to venture into application of agri-biotech as a business. "It is paramount for the financial sector to have a clear understanding of the huge prospects that agriculture brings and the value that biotechnology adds in it," Mr. Nsubuga said.

 

Recognizing the need for mechanisms to easily transport vegetatively propagated crops around the region, so that farmers can have access to clean planting materials, Mr. Nsubuga urged the East African Community to "move with speed and harmonize policies that will improve the trading environment." The AGT boss noted that agricultural biotechnology is an economic revolution that the continent should not miss out on, adding that "the opportunity for Africa in biotechnology is ripe." 

 

AGT is the first and only private company in Uganda to use biotechnology through tissue culture techniques for micro-propagation of different crops on a commercial basis.

 

For more information, contact Mr. Erostus Nsubuga on nerostus@gmail.com.