Prospects for bioresources innovations development in eastern Africa


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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

  1. 1. Presented by<br />Julius Ecuru<br />Uganda national council for science and technology, uncst<br />John Komen<br />IFPRI program for biosafety systems, pbs<br />With inputs from bio-earn project teams<br />Official Launch of the Bio-Innovate Program Nairobi, March 16, 2011<br />Prospects for bioresources innovations development in eastern Africa<br />
  2. 2. Main messages<br />Rationale is clear: food, feed, fiber, fuel – what are the prospects?<br />Capacity building efforts are paying off – beyond applied research<br />Governments are responding – STI policies and investments<br />Moving R&D to innovations – role for BioInnovate<br />Ensuring policy coherence – role for BioInnovate<br />
  3. 3. 1. Bioscience research has high potential<br />Selected examples from<br />BIO-EARN innovation case studies:<br /><ul><li>Success stories: completed research, product development, dissemination cycle</li></ul>Malted beverages (bushera, togwa) from sorghum and millet<br />Bioenergy from sisal waste <br />Constructed wetlands cleaning wastewater<br /><ul><li>Product development phase of innovation: </li></ul>Biotic and abiotic stress tolerant sorghum varieties (MAS)<br />Genetic improvement and clean planting materials production for cassava and sweet potato <br />
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  5. 5.
  6. 6. Ex ante socio-economic analysis<br />The analysis highlighted a number of important areas of impact:<br />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.<br />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.<br />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.<br />
  7. 7. 2. Capacity building efforts paying off<br /><ul><li> Leadership role in advanced R&D international-national, public-private partnerships, e.g.
  8. 8. VIRCA
  9. 9. BioCassava+
  10. 10. WEMA – drought tolerant maize
  11. 11. Bacterial wilt resistant banana, biofortified banana
  12. 12. ABS – biofortified sorghum
  13. 13. Insect-resistant maize
  14. 14. Insect-resistant cotton
  15. 15. Essential support role for bioscience capacity development efforts under, e.g., BECA, AATF, DDPSC, CGIAR centers</li></li></ul><li>3. Governments are responding<br /><ul><li>Reflecting NEPAD’s Consolidated Plan of Action - examples:</li></ul>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<br />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<br />
  16. 16. 4. Moving R&D to innovation<br />From: “Fostering Innovation – Lessons from BIO-EARN”<br />Continued efforts are required, incl.:<br />Analyze markets and economic viability of R&D results<br />Encourage public-private cooperation, product development<br />Support product “champions” and broaden their base<br />Address regulatory issues affecting IP and biosafety / food safety<br />Decrease reliance on external funding<br />Ensure long-term perspective vs. short-term funding opportunities<br />Key role for S&T councils / commissions in BioInnovate and other initiatives<br />
  17. 17. 5. Challenge = policy coherence<br /><ul><li>Regulatory frameworks:
  18. 18. Not based on accumulated evidence
  19. 19. Exclusive focus on risk
  20. 20. Full EIA for field trials
  21. 21. Strict liability clauses, compensation, etc.
  22. 22. Unclear decision making procedures
  23. 23. STI / biotech policies acknowledge the potential:</li></ul>Food security, agricultural trade<br />Increased rural incomes and employment<br />Private sector development<br />Climate change mitigation - drought<br />
  24. 24. THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION<br />“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.”<br />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<br />