Imperial College London

Sir Gordon Conway speaks at First Pan African Biotech Conference, Ghana

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On November 29th, Gordon Conway gave the keynote speech at the FARA hosted conference on safe and high-quality biotech crops.

Africa managing safe and high-quality biotech crops

On the 29th November 2011, Gordon Conway gave the keynote speech at the First Pan African Biotechnology Stewardship Conference in Accra, Ghana.  The conference was hosted by the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA).

Gordon  said agriculture was high on the political agenda, as more leaders were recognizing the key role that it could play in addressing many of the world’s most pressing challenges.

The problem in Africa, he said, was to meet the demand for food and live stock, improving the soil, producing good seed, varieties of crops that mature quickly and are resilient and develop good markets for farmers to sell their produce.

Dr. Ramadjita Tabo, Executive Director of the Forum for Agriculture Research in Africa (FARA) and a fellow Montpellier Panellist, said their goal was for Africa to use the tools of modern biotechnology on a need basis to address the problem of hunger and malnutrition whilst ensuring environmental sustainability.

“In this regard, we support the mainstreaming of stewardship, the responsibility management of technologies in agric into the conduct of research and deployment of the technology” he said.

He said in spite of the 15 years of successful commercialization of GM crops, progress in the adoption of the technology, had been slow in Africa despite the political will, which now existed in many African countries.

“What has been missing so far is the training in the conduct of the business of biotechnology and where the Strengthening Capacity for Safe Biotechnology Management Sub-Saharan Africa (SABIMA) project with emphasis of stewardship comes in.”

For further infomation on the event and to find out more about FARA, see their website

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