February 20, 2013
Food Quality & Nutrition
Uganda is the largest consumer of bananas in the world and among the top producers in Africa. Adults there consume an average of 191 kilograms of bananas per year or more than four averaged-sized bananas (about a half kilogram) per day. There are 120 banana varieties in Uganda alone that are not found anywhere else in the world.
Uganda faces food insecurity and a population deficient in iron and vitamin A, which are naturally found in bananas
Yet, the country faces food insecurity and a population deficient in iron and vitamin A, which are naturally found in bananas. Scientists at the National Agricultural Research Organization have created nutritionally enhanced, disease-resistant bananas through biotechnology, which have the potential to address nutrient deficiencies. These bananas contain up to 600 percent more vitamin A than normal bananas and scientists are working on boosting their iron content. The biotech bananas also have resistance to a devastating parasite that threatens production of this staple food and the livelihood of Ugandan farmers.