FAO Organizes Technical Conference on Role of Agricultural Biotechnologies

4 March 2010: The UN Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO) International Technical Conference on Agricultural Biotechnologies in Developing Countries took place in Guadalajara, Mexico, from 1-4 March 2010, and was co-sponsored by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), the Government of Mexico and a number of other international partners.

More than 300 individuals from 68 countries participated in the meeting, including experts, policy

makers and representatives of civil society and international organizations. Participants reviewed past successes and failures of biotechnology across the food and agricultural sectors in developing countries. Modibo Traore, FAO Assistant Director-General, called for the focus of biotechnology to be redirected so as to benefit poor farmers in developing countries. He called on the international community to support developing countries by: fostering partnerships; developing a framework for international cooperation; and providing funding for the generation, adaptation and adoption of biotechnologies.

Plenary sessions addressed approaches to target biotechnologies to the poor, enabling research and development, technology transfer, and South-South collaboration. Additional roundtables and parallel sessions discussed cross-cutting issues, region-specific issues and case studies of successful applications. The final day included two plenary sessions focusing on options for developing countries and priorities for action for the international community. [FAO Press Release] [Conference Website]