Biotech Updates

ISAAA Shares 2019 Global Biotech Crop Adoption to Stakeholders in the Philippines and Arab Region

December 16, 2020

The Philippines is the first country to plant a biotech crop in Southeast Asia and has become a model for science-based biosafety regulation in the region. In 2019, Filipino farmers boosted the area planted to biotech maize. This is according to the ISAAA report Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops 2019 launched in the Philippines through a webinar on December 14, 2020. Another webinar was organized for Arab countries on December 9, 2020.

ISAAA SEAsiaCenter hosted the Philippine webinar which focused on the 2019 biotech crop status data and the Philippines' GM adoption experience as well as the youth's perspective on agricultural biotechnology. Dr. Richard Torno, a veterinarian by profession who later pursued farming, narrated his first-hand experience on how Bt corn improved his way of farming. According to him, Bt corn is effective against the Asiatic Corn Borer hence he applies fewer pesticides while still producing high-quality grains at a low production cost which ultimately led to an increase in yield by 37%. Gerald Mores, an Agricultural Biotechnology student from the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) and President of the UP League of Agricultural Biotechnology Students, provided insights about the future with biotechnology from the youth's perspective and how the youth can help change the course of agriculture for the better.

ISAAA, in partnership with the Association of Arab Universities (AArU) and the Association of Agricultural Research Institutions in the Near East and North Africa, presented the global trends and impact of biotech crops. ISAAA Global Coordinator, Dr. Mahaletchumy Arujanan, also introduced the advocacies of ISAAA and how it caters to the needs of those in the region. ISAAA SEAsiaCenter Director Dr. Rhodora Romero-Aldemita presented the 2019 global status and trends of GM/biotech crops, and ISAAA AfriCenter Dr. Margaret Karembu highlighted the impact of the benefits brought about by planting GM crops in Africa.

ISAAA will continue to hold webinars with its global partners. For more information, send an e-mail to

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