Stakeholders working within the potato sector in Uganda are confident about the wide adoption of a new bioengineered late blight resistant potato. Dubbed the “3R Victoria” potato, the yet to be released variety could help over 300,000 smallholder farmers in Uganda achieve higher yields at a lower cost with less exposure to chemicals.
At an expert consultative meeting held in Uganda, stakeholders discussed critical issues that could affect the adoption of 3R Victoria. After long discussion, the group arrived at an estimated 40-50% adoption rate for the new variety 15 years after its release.
Dr. Charles Mugoya, the chairperson of the National Biosafety Committee, explained the variety’s potential benefits and constraints. For instance, using 3R Victoria, farmers will have to spend less money on fungicides. Traders will have to use clear labelling when purchasing and trading the 3R Victoria and they will also have to keep 3R Victoria tubers separated from other tubers. Seed companies selling 3R Victoria seeds will be registered and inspected for maintaining good stewardship, separate production lines, and packaging basic seeds in GMO-labelled bags.[…]