NOTE: I was one of the authors of the IFPRI report below.
Jose Falck Zepeda
The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) will organize an important meeting to present and discuss the findings and recommendations of a study commissioned by AfDB on agriculture biotechnology for Africa from 15-16 February 2012 in Nairobi, Kenya.
The economic and social significance of Africa’s agriculture sector is widely acknowledged. However, due to a variety of reasons, the sector has not been performing well, and this, among other things, is affecting food security, inclusive growth and poverty reduction. The urgent need to transform Africa’s agriculture sector into a competitive and high potential driver of balanced economic development using advanced technology has been extensively debated.
To this end, 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. The consultation meeting will discuss 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 include 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 will participate in the meeting.
FOr more information Click here