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Crop Biotech Update

Egyptian Agriculture Extension Workers Learned Biotechnology

June 26, 2009

The first in the series of workshops sponsored by the Agricultural Research Center and the Egyptian Biotechnology Information Center was recently held to raise public awareness on biotech crops. The first workshop was held to discuss the importance of biotech crops and the benefits of biotech maize and cotton. It  was attended by agricultural extensionists from 20 governates of Egypt. Prof. Mohamed Elgarhey, Deputy Director of Agricultural Research Center mentioned that Egypt had an early start in agricultural biotechnology by establishing the Agriculture Genetic Engineering Research Institute. The cooperation between its extension section and the EBIC will allow a transparent discussion on current issues in agricultural biotechnology.

Prof. Magdy AbdelZaher of Alexandria University discussed his intensive Bt maize field trial studies in over 36 maize-growing areas in Egypt and mentioned that, "the use of biotech maize saves on pesticide usage, gives almost 100% protection from stem borers, and increases yield of 30-40% over the conventional maize varieties". Dr. Hasan Dahey, a researcher of Bt cotton stressed that, "Bt cotton gives full protection against bollworms infestation". He added that the Egyptian Bt cotton variety development project will be successfully completed soon.

For more information contact Dr. Ismail AbdelHamid at ismail@isaaa.org