Rationale for ADBs Involvement in Biotechnology

Biotechnology has the potential to (i) increase crop and animal productivity (ii) improve nutritional quality (iii) broaden tolerance of crops for drought, salinity, and other abiotic stresses and (iv) increase resistance of crops to pests and diseases. These potential benefits will have significant impact in increasing food production and reducing poverty in DMCs if they can be applied to problems of the poor farmers in the tropics. As with any technology, biotechnology brings with it...

E ADBs Poverty Reduction Strategy

While the need for further intensification of agricultural production in Asia is clear, intensification strategies must change to avoid adverse environmental impact and to reverse the effects of earlier practices. Enhanced, but inefficient use of irrigation and mineral fertilizers over the past three decades has had negative side effects such as soil salinity and nutrient leaching. With crop intensification, incidences of pests and diseases also increased (Pinstrup-Andersen and Cohen 2000). The...

Applicability of Biotechnology to Specific Agricultural Objectives

In Asia, biotechnology has been applied mainly to develop improved varieties adapted to specific environments. Specific areas where new applications of biotechnology could address poverty reduction and food security are summarized as follows (i) Increasing Productivity and Stability of Crops in Rainfed and Marginal Environments. Producing more food on the same area of cultivated land would reduce pressure to expand cultivated areas to forests and marginal areas. Broadening tolerance of existing...

Australian Government

Over the last 15 years, ACIAR has entered into more than 100 biotechnology R& D partnerships with at least 10 Asian countries in support of more than 600 active or completed projects. The emphasis of this work has been on developing diagnostics and vaccines for a large suite of diseases of tropical livestock, with some recent work on fish and shrimp being undertaken. Most of these projects have been implemented through government programs, but NGOs are becoming increasingly involved....

Past Successes in Reducing Poverty Through Agricultural Science

Science and technology underpinned the economic and social gains in Asia over the past 30 years. In agriculture, these gains came to be known as the Green Revolution. Between 1970 and 1995, cereal produc 1 The poor is defined as those people who survive on less than 1.00 day. 2 Undernutrition is determined from data about people's weight, height, and age. tion in Asia doubled, calorie availability per person increased by 24 percent, and real food prices halved (IFPRI 1997). Although the...

Research Institutions Involved in Agricultural Biotechnology

Of 102 research centers related to agriculture, most carry out traditional biotechnology (tissue culture, biofertilizer). High-tech agriculture biotechnology is restricted to only two centers (CEMB and NIBGE). Though the facilities for genetic engineering of crops are excellent, some major weaknesses are inherent in their capabilities. For instance, the lack of consumables (chemicals, enzymes, plasticware) often results in considerable delay in completing experiments. Although a number of...

Technology Transfer in Agriculture Mechanisms and Agents

Technology in agriculture may be transferred in many different forms in a commercial or market context, in a nonmarket or public good context, or by a combination of market and nonmarket mechanisms. Technology may be in the public domain and freely available to all, or it may be proprietary. It may be transferred through the purchase of an end product (seeds or machinery), or as an input into the agricultural research process (e.g., a patented genetic mapping technique or a patented gene). The...

Linkage Between Biotechnology and Poverty Reduction and Food Security

Agricultural biotechnology will contribute to poverty reduction and food security if scientists can develop technologies to increase quality and yields of food crops, and the technologies are adopted by small farmers. For this to happen, biotechnology R& D will have to meet four conditions (i) It must address both the problems of small farmers in rainfed areas where most of the poor live, and those of small farmers in irrigated areas, which provide the bulk of food grain supply in Asia. (ii)...

Definition History and Scope of Biotechnology

Biotechnology, broadly defined, includes any technique that uses living organisms, or parts of such organisms, to make or modify products, to improve plants or animals, or to develop microorganisms for specific use. It ranges from traditional biotechnology to the most advanced modern biotechnology. Biotechnology is not a separate science but rather a mix of disciplines (genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry, embryology, and cell biology) converted into productive processes by linking them...

Tolerance for Abiotic Stresses

Drought, and soil salinity and acidity are among the most important constraints to agricultural production. They cause severe yield losses of all major food crops worldwide. In the drought prone northwest, water is a major limiting factor for crop production in south and central PRC, soil acidity is a major limiting factor and salinity affects large areas in the east coast region. Drought tolerance has been the subject of many studies in several major food crops including rice, maize, and...

Fisheries and Aquaculture

Molecular markers are of growing importance in biodiversity research, genome mapping, and trait selection in fish and other aquatic organisms. International groups are already collaborating on developing genetic maps of tilapia, common carp, salmonids, catfish, zebra fish and puffer fish. The feasibility of developing and using transgenic species of fish is being explored by several research institutes and companies in the UK and the US on various species including tilapia and salmon. Indeed,...

Current Status of Agricultural Biotechnology in Asia

Several emerging economies in Asia, including the PRC, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Thailand, and Viet Nam, are making major investments in modern biotechnology to further the aim of improving food security and reducing poverty. In addition, several regional and international programs and a growing number of private sector companies are working on biotechnology. The PRC is most advanced in the use of genetically modified crops. There are at least 500,000 ha of genetically...

Genetically Modified Organisms Food and Environmental Issues

In industrialized countries, considerable progress has been made in methods, approaches, and experience in the safe management of GMOs. Overall these methods have proven to be effective, particularly with respect to food safety. The development of a transgenic soybean containing a protein derived from Brazil nuts, potentially useful in animal feed, was abandoned when the safety assessment revealed that the protein was probably an allergen. In response to consumer concerns, antibiotic markers...

Food Safety Concerns

The potential risks of biotechnology on human health may include toxic reactions, increased cancer risks, food allergies, food contamination, and antibiotic resistance (Table 4.1). There is also concern that GMOs in animal feed might present a health risk for consumers, or for the animal itself. Consumers are also concerned about the long-term health effects of genetically modified foods. To address food safety concerns, the following safeguards have been adopted by some countries (i) Some...

Examples of Public Private Sector Collaboration in Asia

Public-private sector partnerships take a wide variety of forms. In India, an Indian-Swiss project funded by the Swiss Development Corporation involves Swiss research institutes or universities, Indian public research institutes, and private Indian companies in research, development, and production of biofertilizers and biopesticides. In Thailand a partnership between an industry consortium and BIOTEC, the national public biotechnology institute, brought about the development and...

Selected Country Experiences

Several governments in Asia are committed to the use of modern biotechnology in agriculture. They have devoted significant human and financial resources to this policy over the past two decades. Some illustrations of current activities in selected countries are given below. Further details on individual countries are contained in Appendixes 3 to 10 and summarized in Table 3.1. The PRC accords high priority to biotechnology to increase food production and improve product quality in an...

Biotechnology Activities of the Cgiar Centers Relevant in Asia

Table A11.1 CGIAR Centers with Crop Improvement Activities in Asia Table A11.1 CGIAR Centers with Crop Improvement Activities in Asia Centro Internacional de Agricultural Tropical (International Center for Tropical Agriculture Centro Internacional de Mejoramiento de Maiz y Trigo (International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center) Centro Internacional de la Papa (International Potato Center) International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics Sorghum, Millet, Groundnut, Chickpea,...

National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology

The National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (BIOTEC) was established under the Ministry for Science, Technology and Energy in 1983. When in 1991 Thailand established the National Science and Technology Development Agency, BIOTEC became one of the Agency's centers. It operates autonomously outside the normal framework of civil service and state enterprises. This enables it to operate more effectively to support and transfer technology for the development of industry,...

Introduction

The agricultural sector has contributed substantially to the growth and development of the Malaysian economy. This has created a rich economic base to promote the rapid development of the industrial and manufacturing sectors, which has taken place since the mid 1980s. Structural change in the economy between l985 and l995 have seen the relative contribution of the agriculture sector to employment generation decline from 31.3 percent to 19 percent and export earnings from 36.7 percent to 19.2...

Human Resource Development

There are about 50 approved biotechnology masters, postdoctoral, and medical training programs in different institutions and universities covering most Indian states. Short-term training programs, technician training courses, fellowships for study abroad, training courses in Indian institutions, popular lecture series, awards, and incentives form an integral part of human resource development in India. Since 1996, both industry and biotechnology-based programs in research institutions have...

ISNAR Biotechnology Service

The ISNAR Biotechnology Service (IBS), with Japanese support, has been assisting selected Asian countries in developing human resources for managing biotechnology research programs or institutions. IBS has developed specialized courses to enhance the capacity and competency of managers, focusing on strategy building, priority setting, managing biosafety and regulatory aspects, resource generation and deployment, product delivery, and information sharing as well as the establishment and...

Issues

Because the private sector invests heavily in, and holds many of the advanced biotechnologies, new discoveries in biotechnology may be protected by plant variety protection, patents, or trade secrets. This raises the issue of IPR. The 1995 Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIP) requires all countries to provide some sort of protection for plant varieties. TRIP requires all signatories to extend IP protection to microorganisms, plant genetic material, and techniques...

Livestock Improvement

The main applications of new biotechnologies to livestock are in genetic improvement, reproductive technologies (e.g., fertility monitoring and embryo transfer), and animal health (through diagnostics and vaccines). These new technologies speed the reproductive process, thus allowing more generations to be produced over the life of an animal. They also enable the more efficient selection of breeds with increased productivity. Phenotypes of commercial livestock breeds that are highly productive...

Modern Plant Breeding

The application of biotechnology to agricultural crops has traditionally involved the selective crossing of two parent plants to produce offspring having desired traits such as increased yields, disease resistance, or enhanced product quality. Such active plant breeding has led to the development of superior plant varieties far more rapidly than would have occurred in the wild due to random crossing. Traditional methods of gene exchange, however, are limited to crosses between the same or...

Potential Risks of Biotechnology

The public debate on biotechnology has been focused on GMOs, one of the many products of biotechnology. The public perception is that genetically engineered foods and crops may have food biosafety, environmental, socioeconomic, and ethical risks. Some of these risks are genuine and need to be addressed by the public and private sectors to ensure that GMOs are widely accepted. An open, transparent, and inclusive food safety policy and regulatory process is required. The potential long-term...

Role of Government

To use agricultural biotechnology safely and effectively for the benefit of small farmers in Asia, governments in the region should (i) Demonstrate a strong commitment to agriculture and rural development by providing adequate budget and staffing to the sector in general and agricultural biotechnology in particular. (ii) Establish clear polices and priorities in biotechnology R& D to ensure that it can contribute effectively and safely toward poverty reduction and food security. (iii)...

The Rockefeller Foundation

Operational from 1984-1999, the Rice Biotechnology Network sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation was very active and successful in the region. The program's two objectives were to (i) to create biotechnology applications to produce improved rice varieties suited to developing country needs, and (ii) to train scientists in developing countries to use the techniques and adopt them to their own objectives. A network of about 200 senior scientists and 300 trainee scientists from all the major...

United Nations Agencies

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is giving high priority to biotechnology within its Asia Pacific regional programs (FAO 2000). During 1989-1993, the United Nations Development Programme financed the establishment of biotechnology centers in eight countries (PRC, India, Indonesia, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, and Thailand) to share rDNA techniques in animal improvement, embryo transfer, and disease control. In 1994 the United Nations Industrial Development...

World Bank

The World Bank has supported the development of infrastructure and human resource development for biotechnology in several Asian countries over the past 15 years. This support has come through loans in the agricultural sector, science and technology, and education. There are currently substantial components for biotechnology within agricultural technology projects in India, Indonesia, and Pakistan. The Inter University Centers for Biotechnology in Indonesia were built with a 150 million loan in...

Economic Concentration in Agricultural Biotechnology

Modern biotechnology R& D has been conducted in an institutional and economic environment that differs significantly from the development of the earlier Green Revolution technologies. While the latter were essentially the prerogative of public research institutions and philanthropic foundations, the application of modern biotechnology to agriculture is essentially a competitive, commercial endeavor in which powerful private sector interests compete. Similarly, while the Green Revolution...

Suggested Policy for ADB on Agricultural Biotechnology

The major conclusion of this study is that funding agencies, including ADB, would be wise to continue and increase their investments in the safe applications of biotechnology, as one means to achieving poverty reduction and food security in Asia over the next 25 years. Achieving these goals with presently available technologies will be difficult given present trends and future challenges facing the rural sector in Asian environments. ADB can support biotechnology R& D in Asia through loans...

Opportunities for Collaboration

The public sector can expand private sector research for small farmers by converting some of the social benefits to private gains, e.g., by offering to buy exclusive rights to newly developed technology and making it available free or for a nominal charge to small farmers. The private research agency would bear the risks, as it does when developing technology for the market. This arrangement is similar to that proposed by Sachs for developing a malaria vaccine for use in Africa. Public-private...

Public Perception of Risks

As with any science and technology, biotechnology can bring with it benefits and risks. It is the risks of agricultural biotechnology that have received widespread publicity in the media even though biotechnology has also been applied to health and industrial sectors. Environmental NGOs have been particularly vocal in taking issue with the new technologies derived from or incorporating GMOs. As a consequence, in the public debate biotechnology has become synonymous with GMOs, although they are...

Future Biotechnology Policy

Despite the economic crisis of 1997, biotechnology remains a high priority in Indonesia, although the focus and direction have been adjusted to the current economic conditions. The first priority is to apply existing biotechnologies for product(s) in response to the needs of the people, especially in food production, traditional medicine, and value-added agricultural products for import substitution and export. The second priority is strategic research in response to the rapid development of...

Agricultural Biotechnology in the Philippines9

In 1997, the combined area devoted to agriculture in the Philippines was 10.3 million hectares ha , with coconut being the most widely planted crop 4 million ha , followed by rice 3.5 million ha , maize 1.2 million ha , banana 200,000 ha , pineapple 40,000 ha and others Bureau of Agricultural Statistics Report, 1997 . The country is a major producer of coconut, sugarcane, banana, and pineapple. The export value of sugarcane and coffee has declined considerably in recent years. More than 70...

Foreword

Recent breakthroughs in biotechnology have led to rapid progress in understanding the genetic basis of living organisms, and the ability to develop products and processes useful to human and animal health, food and agriculture, and industry. In agriculture, there is increasing use of biotechnology for genetic mapping and marker-assisted selection to aid more precise and rapid development of new strains of improved crops and livestock. Other biotechnology applications such as tissue culture and...