14-16th December 2011. Entebbe, Uganda. The world’s newest country was unanimously accepted to become the 11th member of the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in East and Central Africa (Asareca) during its first general assembly.
According to Harvard professor Calestous Juma, who gave the keynote address, South Sudan will play a key role in developing agriculture in the region by providing opportunities to apply the latest technologies on untested ground.
“South Sudan is lucky because it will get started with the latest and best agricultural technologies as it embarks on developing its economic base,” he said adding that since agriculture is the most viable industry the country can tap into and reap substantially because of being endowed with unfarmed soils and plenty of irrigation water from the Nile, it has potential to feed the region and generate more for selling into a food deficit world.
|1st ASARECA GENERAL ASSEMBLY|
By an interesting coincidence, a young Sudanese researcher who is studying in Kenya at the Kenyatta University’s department of biotechnology, Rashar Omer, has made history by developing the first drought-resistant maize gene that was unveiled at the conference and named Asareca gene. Slated for commercialisation in 2018, the gene is being touted by scientists who are excited by the breakthrough as having the potential to finally lead Africa to an agrarian revolution that has evaded the continent for decades.(source: The East African 28/12/2011, South Sudan – Africa’s Next Farming Frontier)