Attending and participating in the “FAO Regional Meeting Biotech Conference for Africa” was a great opportunity to meet and interact with all different types of people—Governmental and Non-Governmental representatives, scientists, farmers, the private sector and civil society organizations--and others. It was also a learning experience on the inconsistencies present in this community.
I attended many sessions at the Africa Regional Biotech conference. Here are a few that really caught my attention:
I am an agricultural plant biotechnologist from Kenya, and I had the opportunity last month to attend the FAO Africa Regional Biotech Meeting in Addis Ababa. Most farmers in Africa are still skeptical of agricultural biotechnologies as a tool for food and feed production. Therefore, there is huge demand for awareness creation among farmers.
I have been involved for over 15 years in the fight to get Africa firmly and fully engaged in biotechnology. Africa Harvest, the organization I work for, subscribes to the UN Food and Agricultural Organization’s (FAO) definition of biotechnologies as “tools and techniques that can improve agriculture and food production.” This certainly includes new DNA techniques, molecular biology, and reproductive technological applications.