Crop Biotech Update

OFAB Marks 5th Year, Seeks to Expand Activities

May 4, 2012

The Open Forum for Agricultural Biotechnology in Africa (OFAB) is celebrating its fifth anniversary with a US$3 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The grant, announced during OFAB's anniversary celebrations in Accra, Ghana, seeks to enhance knowledge sharing and biotechnology awareness and build an enabling environment for decision making for agricultural biotechnology in Africa.

During the anniversary celebration, Hon. Sherry Ayittey, Ghana's Minister for Environment, Science and Technology said  that "Biotechnology has delivered substantial benefits to farmers around the world but Africa still lags behind in exploiting its potential partly due to lack of an enabling environment for the development and use of agricultural biotechnology."

Five African countries, namely, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda, currently implement OFAB in collaboration with a number of partners. Monthly meetings are held in different countries, where topics on agricultural biotechnology are presented and discussed. Specific areas of discussion include understanding agricultural biotechnology and how it applies to Sub-Saharan Africa, updating stakeholders on biotechnology project developments and discussing enabling factors such as intellectual property management, liability, seed systems and commercialization.

More information, including the news release about this event is available at OFAB's website at http://www.ofabafrica.org/news_article.php?id=82.