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Prospects for bioresources innovations development in eastern Africa

Prospects for bioresources innovations development in eastern Africa



Presented by John Komen at the Launch of the BioInnovate Programme, ILRI, Nairobi, 16 March 2011

Presented by John Komen at the Launch of the BioInnovate Programme, ILRI, Nairobi, 16 March 2011



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    Prospects for bioresources innovations development in eastern Africa Prospects for bioresources innovations development in eastern Africa Presentation Transcript

    • Presented by
      Julius Ecuru
      Uganda national council for science and technology, uncst
      John Komen
      IFPRI program for biosafety systems, pbs
      With inputs from bio-earn project teams
      Official Launch of the Bio-Innovate Program Nairobi, March 16, 2011
      Prospects for bioresources innovations development in eastern Africa
    • Main messages
      Rationale is clear: food, feed, fiber, fuel – what are the prospects?
      Capacity building efforts are paying off – beyond applied research
      Governments are responding – STI policies and investments
      Moving R&D to innovations – role for BioInnovate
      Ensuring policy coherence – role for BioInnovate
    • 1. Bioscience research has high potential
      Selected examples from
      BIO-EARN innovation case studies:
      • Success stories: completed research, product development, dissemination cycle
      Malted beverages (bushera, togwa) from sorghum and millet
      Bioenergy from sisal waste
      Constructed wetlands cleaning wastewater
      • Product development phase of innovation:
      Biotic and abiotic stress tolerant sorghum varieties (MAS)
      Genetic improvement and clean planting materials production for cassava and sweet potato
    • Ex ante socio-economic analysis
      The analysis highlighted a number of important areas of impact:
      Increased crop productivity: Improved sorghum lines, selected for tolerance to drought and other abiotic stresses, increased yields by around 25 per cent compared to the local base variety in Kenya. In Kenya and Uganda, local breweries showed strong interest in locally produced sorghum to substitute for imported barley.
      Environmental gains: Biogas technologies to enhance production from fish processing waste and sisal waste contribute to agro-industrial waste management and reduce the need for firewood – a major cause of deforestation – and imported fuel.
      Human health benefits: Constructed wetlands technology for the treatment of slaughterhouse and tannery effluents has been tested at the pilot scale in several BIO-EARN countries. Treatment of waste water results in a much reduced exposure to chemicals, heavy metals and pathogens. In Tanzania, it was demonstrated that the technology leads to significant cost reductions in treating common diseases such as diarrhoea.
    • 2. Capacity building efforts paying off
      • Leadership role in advanced R&D international-national, public-private partnerships, e.g.
      • VIRCA
      • BioCassava+
      • WEMA – drought tolerant maize
      • Bacterial wilt resistant banana, biofortified banana
      • ABS – biofortified sorghum
      • Insect-resistant maize
      • Insect-resistant cotton
      • Essential support role for bioscience capacity development efforts under, e.g., BECA, AATF, DDPSC, CGIAR centers
    • 3. Governments are responding
      • Reflecting NEPAD’s Consolidated Plan of Action - examples:
      Tanzania: Increase R&D spending to 1% of GDP. USD 20 million fund for S&T rolled out in 2010/11 -- about three quarters of this fund is dedicated to R&D in bioresources
      Uganda: (i) Millennium Science Initiative – USD 33 million competitive grants, for S&T-led economic growth. (ii)USD 4.8 million / year Presidential initiative to scientists for near market research products, e.g., banana industrial development, juice and wine processing
    • 4. Moving R&D to innovation
      From: “Fostering Innovation – Lessons from BIO-EARN”
      Continued efforts are required, incl.:
      Analyze markets and economic viability of R&D results
      Encourage public-private cooperation, product development
      Support product “champions” and broaden their base
      Address regulatory issues affecting IP and biosafety / food safety
      Decrease reliance on external funding
      Ensure long-term perspective vs. short-term funding opportunities
      Key role for S&T councils / commissions in BioInnovate and other initiatives
    • 5. Challenge = policy coherence
      • Regulatory frameworks:
      • Not based on accumulated evidence
      • Exclusive focus on risk
      • Full EIA for field trials
      • Strict liability clauses, compensation, etc.
      • Unclear decision making procedures
      • STI / biotech policies acknowledge the potential:
      Food security, agricultural trade
      Increased rural incomes and employment
      Private sector development
      Climate change mitigation - drought
      “It is no secret that Africa’s history has been marked by a development narrative in which the benefits from science, technology and innovation have been enjoyed by few, instead of being seen as tools for the development of all citizens. Today this is changing and Africa’s leaders view science, technology and innovation as critical to human development, global competitiveness and ecological management.”
      From: Juma, C. and I. Serageldin (Lead Authors). 2007. Freedom to Innovate: Biotechnology in Africa’s Development. A report of the High-Level African Panel on Modern Biotechnology