Uganda and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have signed a fiveyear framework for the peaceful application of nuclear technologies to solve everyday problems like hunger and poverty.“This is expected to match nuclear technology to national priorities for sustainable development,” Irene
By Ibrahim Kasita
Uganda and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have signed a fiveyear framework for the peaceful application of nuclear technologies to solve everyday problems like hunger and poverty.
“This is expected to match nuclear technology to national priorities for sustainable development,” Irene Muloni, the energy minister said.
“The focus of the cooperation will be feasibility studies for nuclear power projects, uranium exploration and evaluation, cancer management, food and agriculture, water resource management and strengthening the national nuclear and radiation safety infrastructure.”
Over the past years, the population has rapidly increased and so has the demand for food, water, energy and land for agriculture.
To solve such everyday problems, the energy ministry and mineral development intends to peacefully apply nuclear technologies to meet basic needs.
Rapid population growth, together with climate change and resource overuse, threatens food security.
To alleviate losses in agriculture production and to support low input farming, crop breeding has been developed to improve crop quality and to strengthen the stress resilience of plants, maintaining crop yields without the help of fertilisers.
Scientists are developing new plant varieties in a wide-range of crops to better crop quality and improved stress tolerance.
This advanced breeding is expected to increase farmers’ incomes and agricultural production and to improve food security.
“Pilot technological packages will be developed to improve crop productivity and to enhance soil quality and reliance on climate change and variability,” Sarah Nafuna, the head of the nuclear energy unit of the ministry of energy and mineral development, stated.
“There has been development of virus free sweet potatoes and cassava planting materials and the development of a new soya variety with higher nitrogen fixing capacity to increase productivity.”
Livestock farming is an important source of animal based food products and income for farmers but is facing low productivity and diseases.
Scientists at agricultural breeding institutions use radioactive materials to improve livestock breeding and productivity.
The IAEA has pledged to assist Uganda to optimise livestock productivity through improving animal nutrition, animal reproductive efficiency, and the diagnosis and control of major endemic animal diseases.
Nafuna said Uganda will get support to establish 12 animal disease control laboratories and a well-equipped laboratory in the National Animal Disease Diagnostics and Epidemiology Centre.
Uganda, atomic energy agency sign deal