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Crop Biotech Update

ISAAA Report Launched in Ethiopia

June 29, 2016

ISAAA AfriCenter, in collaboration with the Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB-Ethiopia), launched the ISAAA Brief 51 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on June 9, 2016. AfriCenter Director, Dr. Margaret Karembu presented the report in the event, which was attended by 10 journalists, scientists and members of OFAB Africa. She commended the progress of African countries towards adoption of biotech crops with 19 countries having enacted biosafety laws. Notably, Ethiopia has revised its Biosafety Law to enable commencement of Confined Field Trials (CFTs) on biotech crops in the country. She observed that there is a need for the continent to enable adoption of agricultural biotechnology to tackle challenges such as drought which render the continent food insecure.

The guest of honor, Dr. Maleku Tadesse from Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR) stressed the need to couple agri-biotech research with communication to ensure wide acceptance in the continent. "Uncommunicated science cannot be impactful," he said, urging for more efforts to link scientists and journalists to ensure factual reporting on agricultural biotechnology. Dr. Endale Gebre of EIAR outlined Ethiopia's progress with agri-biotech and biosafety, highlighting the revision of the Biosafety Law and the upgrading of EIAR's Holleta Agricultural Research Center to a dedicated biotech research center.

For more information about biotech in Africa, contact Dr. Margaret Karembu at mkarembu@isaaa.org