Experts impressed by ISAR’s Biotechnology strategies

A team of experts from various international NGOs that support research activities, Tuesday visited the ISAR Rubona research station in Huye district, and commended various achievements in Biotechnology.

A team of experts from various international NGOs that support research activities, Tuesday visited the ISAR Rubona research station in Huye district, and commended various achievements in Biotechnology.

The group, which was part of the evaluation exercise in the country, comprised representatives from the World Bank, World Food Programme, USAID and government officials among others.

“What we have seen is incredible, impressive and a break-through especially in the tissue culture activities that aims at curbing the shortage of seedlings amongst farmers,” Dr Gary Cramer, Senior Agriculture Advisor, USAID, told The New Times shortly after the exercise.

With the tissue culture method of seedling multiplication, the institute now uses various plant parts to regenerate seedlings which are distributed to farmers.

However, it was noted that more effort is needed to ensure that more seedlings are produced as well as passing the knowledge to farmers. 

According to Dr. Jane Kahie, a research specialist at the station, the time taken to produce seedlings varies depending on particular plants and responsiveness of particular parts.

The team toured laboratories, greenhouses and the Gene Bank where genetic resources for seed reproduction and testing are done.

In 2001, ISAR, in partnership with development partners, adopted biotechnology activities to help curb the shortage of seedlings which saw tissue culture labs for Irish potatoes, bananas, coffee and trees established in Musanze and Rubona.

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