Crop Biotech Update

FAO DG: More Must be Done to Ensure Access to Agbiotech of Family Farmers in Developing Countries

February 17, 2016

"Much more must be done to ensure that family farmers, especially those in developing countries, have access to agricultural biotechnologies that can make their activities more productive and sustainable in the face of major challenges such as climate change and population growth," FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said during the opening of the FAO-hosted international symposium The Role of Agricultural Biotechnologies in Sustainable Food Systems and Nutrition.

Graziano da Silva stressed the need for a broad portfolio of tools and approaches to eradicate hunger, fight every form of malnutrition and achieve sustainable agriculture. "We cannot lose sight that biotechnologies, knowledge and innovation must be available, accessible and applicable to family farmers, including small holders," the Director General told symposium participants. "We must find the means to remove the barriers that prevent their availability to family farmers," he added.

The symposium, held on February 15-17 at the FAO Headquarters in Rome, Italy, focused on the broad range of biotechnologies that could result in yield increases, better nutritional qualities, and improved productivities of crops, livestock, fish and trees benefitting family farmers and their food systems, nutrition and livelihoods. About 500 scientists, representatives of government, civil society, the private sector, academia, farmers' associations and cooperatives participated in the three-day event.

For more information, visit the Symposium page at the FAO website.