In a joint effort, a conference was organized to build and strengthen linkages among R&D/S&T institutions working in the field of agriculture, biotechnology and food security for effective South-South cooperation; and to provide a forum to scientists, researchers, technologists and faculty members to update one another and share the recent developments in the field of agriculture and biotechnology, as well as for knowledge-sharing on the understanding, current status and needs of food and feed security.
As part of the Regional Knowledge Network on Water, IUCN and CEDARE work together in establishing new ways in tackling food security issues through the Water, Food and Energy Nexus theme. The two-day International Conference on ‘Agriculture, Food Security, and Biotechnology’ was successfully organized in Cairo, Egypt, on 8th & 9th June 2015. Hosted by COMSATS’ Centre of Excellence in Egypt, the National Research Centre (NRC), the event was co-organized by COMSATS, Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and Centre for Environment and Development for the Arab Region and Europe (CEDARE).
"Nearly 75% of poor people in developing countries live in rural areas, and the agriculture sector has been found to be relatively more effective in reducing poverty." - Dr. Mohamed Hashem, Vice President for Research Affairs & International Relations at NRC
It is considered that biotechnology is the key technology of the 21st century, and highlighting opportunities that agricultural biotechnology has to offer for the national development, especially of the developing countries is important. It was urged that researchers need to take on revolutionary roles to promote advanced agricultural systems in Islamic Countries. It was further stressed that the importance of increasing food production is essential to ensure food security in Islamic countries by means of modern biotechnology research.
It was greatly noted that developing countries are progressively adopting and adapting to agricultural biotechnology to meet their needs including those pertaining to food quality, food security, and sustainable agriculture. This event was important in encouraging debate and exchange ideas related to modern biotechnological approaches to meet sustainable agriculture and food security challenges in the developing world.
Key reccomendations included the establishment of a scientific network for information exchange between member countries of COMSATS and ISESCO regarding climate change, food production system, automation and precision farming. It was also urged that working out joint research proposals that can be promoted by COMSATS, ISESCO, IUCN, and CEDARE should be done to seek different funds. The creation of working groups for mapping the strengths and weaknesses in biotechnology R&D in common member states and later establishing relevant competent committees for necessary decision making on the use of genetically modified products and preservation of biodiversity.
For more information, kindly contact:
Mufleh Abbadi - Programme Manager
Dr Amr Abdel Mageed - Regional Program Manager CEDARE