Biotech Updates

Governments Meet to Advance Support on Plant Genetic Resources Treaty

December 10, 2010

Senior representatives from 60 countries gathered in Rome last 8 December 2010 to stir up support for the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources and its Benefit-sharing Fund (BSF), which is vital for the conservation and utilization of the world's threatened plant genetic resources for food and agriculture.

Italian Agriculture Minister Giancarlo Galan delivered the opening speech where he called on the Governments to use the Treaty "to overcome the ancient and harmful clash between peasant agriculture and modernity." Italy, together with Spain, Norway, and Australia, is one of the major donors of the BSF to support farmers in the developing countries towards adapting priority crops to climate change.

BSF is currently supporting 11 high-impact projects for small-scale farmers, and in the next three months, US$10 million will be allotted to ensure food availability and sustainability by helping farmers combat climate change. They also emphasized the need to raise US$116 million by 2014.

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