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Crop Biotech Update

Ethiopia Committee on Biotech Formed

April 23, 2010

A Public-Private Partnership Committee on Biotechnology (PPPCB) was formed in Ethiopia to advocate for the amendment of the biosafety law and also negotiate cotton biotechnology access from international genetically modified (GM) cotton technology providers. This was agreed upon during the biotechnology stakeholders meeting held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on April 14, 2010. The meeting was organized by the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) AfriCenter to launch the 2009 Crop Biotech Global Status report. The report was presented by Dr. Tilahun Zeweldu, the Advisor to the Agricultural Biotechnology Support program (ABSP II) in Eastern Africa, Bio-Plus Strategies (BIOPSTRA).

The committee is composed of four members of cotton and textile industry representatives, two members from the science faculty of the Addis Ababa University and two members from the Ethiopian Agricultural Research Institute. The committee is chaired by the Cotton and Textile Industry Association. Currently about 110,000 hectares are planted to cotton in Ethiopia.

The industry is expected to grow 550,000 hectares of cotton within the next four years. The total cotton production potential of Ethiopia is more than three million hectares.

For more information contact Dr. Tilahun Zeweldu at zeweldu@gmail.com