International Conference to Tackle Adoption of Biotech Crops in Developing Countries

Of the 17.3 million farmers from 28 countries who plant biotech crops, 85% come from China (7.2M), India (7.2M), and the Philippines (0.375M) combined. These countries represent an unmatched wealth of critical information and insights towards a better understanding of the social environment that favors biotech crop adoption.

An international conference presenting the key findings of a research project Adoption and Uptake Pathways of GM/Biotech Crops by Small-scale, Resource-poor Asian Farmers in China, India, and the Philippines and their implications to biotech adoption particularly in developing countries will be held at Hyatt Hotel in Manila, Philippines on April 1 and 2, 2013. The said conference will be co-organized by John Templeton Foundation, International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA), the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), the National Academy of Science And Technology (NAST Philippines) and the Agricultural Biotechnology Support Project II (ABSPII).

During the opening day, Dr. Randy Hautea, ISAAA Southeast Asia Director, will present the conference overview and the global status of farmer adoption of biotech crops. The key researchers from each of the three countries namely: Dr. Xiaobing Wang and Dr. Cheng Xiang from China; Dr. Cleofe Torres from the Philippines; and Dr. Charudata Mayee and Dr. Ashok Dhawan from India, together with some selected biotech crop farmers will discuss highlights of the research results and share experiences in growing Bt Corn (in the Philippines) and Bt Cotton (in China and India). Dr. Javier Verástegui, Board Member of Peru Biotech Association, and Dr. Margaret Karembu, Director of ISAAA AfriCenter in Kenya will serve as discussants to validate the Asian experience and to provide insights from other developing regions' perspective. An open discussion will solicit policy recommendations to enhance biotech adoption in developing countries.

The conference will also link stakeholders through a network to encourage interaction even after the event. In addition, participants will visit a biotech corn farm in Concepcion, Tarlac to enable them to interact with farmers.

Conference participants will be stakeholders in the agriculture arena represented by policy makers, scientists and researchers, media practitioners, extension workers, and farmers from the developing countries.

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This article is part of the Crop Biotech Update, a weekly summary of world developments in agri-biotech for developing countries, produced by the Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology, International Service for the Aquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications SEAsiaCenter (ISAAA)

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