Gulu University Showcase Innovation Test Kits for Crop DiseasesWensi MUJUNANTE
Gulu University is part of the various Public and non-public entities exhibiting their Scientific innovations at the National Science week at Kololo Independence Ground in Kampala organized by the Ministry of Science Technology and Innovation (MoSTI).
Associate Professor, Echodu Richard, the Chief Gulu University Multifunctional Research Laboratories has developed from Laboratory innovations or products that would address a common farmer’s challenges of diseases in crops as the test kits also known as rapid point of care diagnostic test tools would be able to detect diseases from the leaves or stems of these crops according to the Gulu University Scientist.
The innovation includes test kits for the Banana Bacterial Wilt, Cassava Mosaic Virus and Sweet Potato Virus.
Assoc. Prof. Echodu, the lead investigator of the project, said the diseases are very dangerous and for a long they have been a challenge to the farmers. He cited the Cassava Mosaic Virus that can cause yield losses of over 98 percent in an affected garden or field.
“These new test Kits have 96 percent sensitivity, can easily be used by ordinary smallholder farmers, commercial farmers, government agencies, labs, NGOs and development partners”. Said excited Prof. Echodu.
According to him, the users only needs hot water at 55 to 65 degrees and the results can be ready in 30 minutes.
“We appreciate the University management, the Government of Uganda, Ministry of Science Technology and Innovation for supporting this innovation. We welcome all members to visit Kololo ceremonial grounds and see a number of innovations in our country”.
Dr. Musenero Monica, the Minister of Science Technology and Innovation announced that her Ministry is proud of this year’s edition since over 70 investors have flown in the country to see which entity they can put money in to develop it further.
The Minister who was addressing the journalist during the 2023 Science Week opening Press Conference on 7th November 2023 added that innovators should not fear the investors or look at them as people who have come to steal their ideas but should look at investors as business partners who could send their products with an impactful partnership to a global or regional market.
The Science Week with the theme “Our Science led Journey towards Social-Economic Transformation” started on 6th of November and would end on the 11th of this Month.