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Monday, 10 March 2014

EU, African science groups support biotech development

Scientists from European and African academic associations meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, last week (27 February) joined forces in calling for the use of biotechnology in African agriculture.
The scientists, from the Network of African Science Academies (NASAC) and the European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC), said that agricultural biotechnology could contribute to sustainable agriculture and to providing nutrition to people across the continent. Many of the world’s most food insecure regions are in Africa.
The scientists called for increasing the amount of African-led research into agricultural biotechnology, according to a statement issued after the meeting.
Fatima Denton, who is charge of the climate policy centre at UN Economic Commission for Africa (UN-ECA), said: “African agriculture is increasingly vulnerable to environmental change as a result of climate variability and change. In this regard, biotechnology could help in breeding crop varieties that resist pests, crops that use less water, crops that use less fertilizers.”
Attendees discussed in a workshop current biotechnology research by African scientists, such as efforts to create crops with improved vitamin content, the statement said.

Source: EurActiv.com