This programme handles three critical research areas; genetic resources conservation, biological control and biotechnology tools applications to agricultural development in Uganda. The programme


Plant genetic resources:  are one of the most important assets for achieving Uganda’s development goals including poverty eradication, food security, medical and industrial advancement. They are hence a key ingredient in the nation’s transformation process. These resources are however threatened by expanding human activity like agriculture, herbal industry, deforestation and mining but also climate change leading to loss of precious plant diversity. There is strategic need to secure, study and make readily available these resources for sustainable use.

Biological control as an environmentally safer option of managing crop pests and disease vectors: The use of biological agents as an alternative to chemical pesticides to control insect pests, vectors, plant diseases and noxious weeds in crop production systems is an area we are already taking very seriously. Use of synthetic chemical pesticides in intensive crop production has caused socio-economic problems. There are increasing reports of pesticide resistance and residue in export commodities. Some of the problems related to pests and diseases can only be effectively tamed through application of biotechnological tools to improve the commodities or contain the causal organisms thereby increasing prospects for food and income security in Africa.

Biotechnology refers to the exploitation of biological resources in a wide range of novel processes to modify living organisms for products and services needed for human use. Biotechnology tools for plant disease testing, tissue-culture and genetic transformation are being developed to enhance agricultural production in areas where traditional methods have not been successful. The development of enzyme and DNA based testing methods in for crop diseases; plant tissue culture systems for a range of crops such as banana, coffee, potato, and high value spices have been used to deliver large quantities of disease-free high quality planting material into the farming communities through private sector partnerships.  We are also using DNA markers to assist plant breeding, identify species and genetically transform crops to develop varieties with resistance to diseases, pests and toxins such as mycotoxins. There are native medicinal plants with documented value in health care and are being over exploited in their native habitats. Biotechnology tools are also being used to conserve them and domesticate them for sustainable utilization.


To be a centre of excellence generating and promoting appropriate agricultural technologies


To generate and promote agricultural technologies and improve productivity, value addition, income and food security


Hosted Institutions