Ugandan Scientists have been asked to engage more in research and development that supports the social and economic transformation of the local communities across the country.
The call was made by Science Technology and Innovation Minister Dr Elioda Tumwesigye while presiding over the Annual Biotechnology Science Awards at the Kampala Serena Hotel.
The minister observed that Science can play big role if the scientists come up with new innovations that will solve some of the challenges affecting the development of some sectors in the economy such as Agriculture.
“Develop innovations that can support the local people to progress; that’s when your innovations will be of great value. some researches being conducted tends to benefit researchers and the funding institutions. As government, we are committed to work with scientists to ensure that local people have access to new innovations especially in the Agriculture sector, health among other,” he said.
During the event, the Minister also disclosed that government is working tirelessly to source funds to give scientists a good remuneration as a prerequisite to retain them in the country.
Tumwesigye observed that government has developed a strong legal frame work which will enable scientists to do their work, although he added that there are gaps that government will continue address to ensure that scientist are supported.
During the event, sections of scientists from different disciplines were awarded for exceptional work done in the fields of science.
The awards were under different categories including: Biotechnology Innovator/ looking at scientists who has excelled in research and innovations in biotechnology products to solve challenges faced by stake holders especially farmers.
The second category was on Biotechnology Entrepreneurship where the best candidate rolled out research to commercialize products. The third category was on Biotechnology Communicator.
The best candidate for Biotechnology Innovator was scoped by Professor Phinehas Tukamuhabwa of Makerere University College of Agriculture who has done more Biotechnology researches leading to the development of various varieties of soybeans such as Maksoy 6N, Maksoy 5N, Maksoy 4N, Maksoy 3N, Maksoy.
Other winners were Dr Theresa Sengooba, a Plant Pathology and Dr Titus Alicai of National Crops Research Institute (NaCRRI), Namulonge who has done a lot of research on cassava.
Speaking at the event, the chairperson Board of Directors at the Uganda Biotechnology and Biosafety Consortium Erostus Nsubuga said investing in science will go a long way in supporting the development of a Bio economy as its in some countries.
“Government needs to invest more resources towards the development and application of Biotechnology in the country if sectors like Agriculture and Health are to develop. The application of Biotechnology in such sectors especially agriculture can solve the challenges of climate change which has affected the sector,” he said.