Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Friday, February 17, 2012

AfDB-IFPRI stakeholder consultation on agricultural biotechnology in Africa

15-16 February 2012 in Nairobi, Kenya. in June 2011, the AfDB Group commissioned IFPRI to conduct a comprehensive and evidence-based study on agriculture biotechnology in Africa to assist African countries to address their agriculture and food security problems.

This consultation meeting discussed the findings and recommendations of the study for broad stakeholder validation, prioritize key areas which need to be addressed, and identify and agree on roles, responsibilities and resources needed to implement priority actions.

Some of the main recommendations from the study included the need to enhance support for the following: data collection, capacity building; renewed cooperation on biotechnology with sub-Saharan African countries, and outreach and communication to the public at large. In this regard, the report is an important step in the right direction.

Approximately 80 representatives of development organizations, senior African policy makers, private sector officials, scientists, researchers, and farmers organizations participated in the meeting.

Related: In November 2011, FARA hosted the 1st Pan-African Conference on Stewardship of Agricultural Biotechnology

Related: A lively [still ongoing] debate on fara-net in February resulted in an exchange of a number of reports on the GMO theme:
  1. Vitale, J.D., Vognan, G. Ouattarra,M.  and Traore, O. (2010). “The CommercialApplication of GMO Crops in Africa: Burkina Faso’s Decade of Experience with BtCotton,” Agrobioforum, 13(4): 320-332.
  2. The New Harvest: Agricultural Innovation in Africa (2011) Complete Text of The New Harvest: Agricultural Innovation in Africa (765K PDF)
  3. Freedom to Innovate: Biotechnology in Africa's Development. Report of the High-Level African Panel on Modern Biotechnology. (2007) Full text of this publication is available
  4. A decade of EU-funded GMO research (2001-2011) (2011)
  5. How to engage with farmers over GM crops, Obidimma Ezezika and Justin Mabeya, SciDev, 22/02/2012
  6. CTA Policy Brief on Harnessing Biotechnology (also available in French)
  7. Ghana Business News 28/02 Biotechnology crucial to global food security – Prof. Alhassan
A video on biotechnology was produced by young professionals in the Caribbean for our 2010/2011 science and video competition. It raises some interesting issues and can be used to fuel interest and mobilize young people on this important issue.

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