Crop Biotech Update

ICAR Signs MOU with SABC

October 28, 2015

The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and the South Asia Biotechnology Centre (SABC) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to accelerate the deployment of public sector-developed genetically engineered crops in India. The MOU was signed by Dr. S. Ayyappan, Director General of ICAR and Secretary DARE and Dr. C.D. Mayee, founding director of SABC, coinciding with the executive council meeting of the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (NAAS) on September 19, 2015. ICAR and SABC will work to create an independent platform to support technology assessment and deployment, biosafety and regulatory approval, and outreach activities of biotech products developed through the national agricultural research system.

Dr. Ayyappan lauded the effort and expressed hopes that the collaboration would improve understanding of the regulatory science protocols and guidelines of biotech products which is crucial for taking biotechnology from lab to land through a multi-layer regulatory system involving different ministries in India. He further emphasized that "Translating biotech research by ICAR into ultimate products is a key challenge for our scientific community. Regulatory science and biosafety assessment studies assume a great significance to navigate through the regulatory system."

Dr. Mayee said the MOU is a historic milestone in taking biotech products to farming community. "Our endeavor is to provide technological intelligence to National Agriculture System and help them with wherewithal to deal with technology deployment, biosafety and regulatory science and approval of improved crops and biotech products developed by NARS."

Key scientists from ICAR and science administrators from the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (NAAS) witnessed the ceremony held at National Agriculture Science Complex, New Delhi.

More details about the event are available at the ICAR website.