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Experts Share Lessons on Communicating Biotechnology

Asia and the Pacific are expected to spearhead the global market for crop biotechnology. Four countries in Asia and the Pacific-Australia, China, India, and the Philippines are mega biotech countries or those that grew 50,000 hectares or more of biotech crops. These countries take the lead in sharing their experiences in communicating biotechnology in a book Communication Challenges and Convergence in Crop Biotechnology edited by Drs. Mariechel J. Navarro and Randy A. Hautea of the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA). The book was launched at Biopolis, Singapore on April 6, 2011 during a Public Forum on Science Communication.

Science communication initiatives of countries such as Philippines, China, Australia,Thailand, India, Malaysia, Bangladesh, and Vietnam as well as the Organization of Islamic Conference countries and CropLife Asia are discussed in the 13 chapter, 310 page book.

The authors say that the book presents case studies that offer unique and rich examples of how countries have been able to guide through the 'drama' of crop biotechnology as they shepherd innovations from the laboratory, greenhouse trials, multi-location trials, and hopefully to farmers' fields. "Each country is making its own contribution, and together they converge to form a consensus on crop biotechnology," they added. Lessons learned from counter experiences will hopefully contribute to a better appreciation and understanding of the crucial role of science communication in the laboratory to farmer's field continuum.

The case studies show that despite diversity in culture, political set-up, economic development, religious beliefs, and language, countries have been able to address specific issues that impede or hasten the development of crop biotechnology. "An appreciation of science communication and appropriate strategies have led to a better understanding of the societal environment where the technology can best thrive," the authors conclude.

For more information about the book, email knowledge.center@isaaa.org.


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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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