FAO to promote Intl. debate on agricultural biotechnologies

ROME, Feb. 18 (MNA) – The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) will promote an international debate on the benefits offered by agricultural biotechnologies to small producers, the UN agency announced Wednesday.

In the light of the current situation, it is necessary to promote culture, generate confidence and achieve a certain level of consensus, said Director General of FAO, Jose Graziano da Silva, in his closing speech of an international symposium about the issue.

The event assessed the potential of the new techniques of "low and high technology" to benefit family growers, especially in developing countries.

"Now FAO has to take a step forward; it is to take the debate to a regional perspective. We want to hear the farmers from all regional talk about their needs, interests and worries," said the UN official.

In da Silva's opinion, to respond to the urgent and diverse challenges of the 21 Century it is necessary to combine different alternatives, as there is no single tool, technology or approach to offer a complete solution," he stressed.

Agroecology and biotechnology can coexist and be used as complementary options, he said, and called for the development of new technologies to make the agricultural sector more sustainable in the future.

We also agreed that the tools and approached must be useful and affordable for all growers, said Da Silva while commenting the conclusions of the symposium.

Some 500 scientists, representatives of the governments, the civil society and the private sector, academic institutions and associations and cooperatives of growers attended the three-day event.

The agricultural biotechnologies not only involve the genetically modified organisms, but also a great variety of techniques that can improve crop yield and the nutritional properties of products.

 

hr/rma/ro/mjm

PL-73/MNA

 

News Code 114548

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