The Agricultural Biotechnology Support Project II (ABSPII)
Promoting Dynamic Partnerships
The Agricultural Biotechnology Support Project II (ABSP II), which is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and led by Cornell University, aims to provide substantial benefits from agricultural biotechnology to countries in East and West Africa, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and the Philippines. The ABSP II Southeast Asia Center is spearheading efforts to develop and commercialize biotechnology products from public research so that these can reach the Southeast Asian market. The Institute of Plant Breeding at the University of the Philippines Los Banos is the Southeast Asian Regional Coordination Center for ABSP II. It oversees project activities in the Philippines and Indonesia. The regional center in Southeast Asia collaborates with three regional centers located in East Africa, West Africa, and South Asia, and with other institutions in the north. Through synergistic partnerships, the needs and strengths of the various programs, including manpower, resources, and facilities, are matched; productive research and development (R&D) are pursued; and access to biological materials is maximized. Collaborations also hasten the development and effective delivery of both information and products from the research laboratory to farmers and other stakeholders.
Developing Bio-engineered Products from the Public Sector to the Market.
The ABSP II Southeast Asia Regional Center targets the safe and effective development and commercialization of bio-engineered crops, which are important to subsistence and resource-poor farmers, but because of their limited markets or commercial value are often overlooked by the private sector. The initial crops have been prioritized based on consultations and participatory research with stakeholders in Southeast Asia. Scientists in the Philippines are focusing on Papaya Ring Spot Virus (PRSV)- resistant papaya and Fruit and Shoot Borer (FSB)-resistant eggplant.