Agricultural Biotechnology Network
AARINENA Executive Committee recommended the establishment of an agricultural biotechnology network in the Near East & North Africa Region.
Given the current status of agricultural biotechnology in the different countries of the region, and in the absence of a coordinating body for the promotion of cooperation among these countries for an optimal utilization of the limited resources available for the development of agricultural biotechnology, the establishment of a Technical Cooperation Network on Agricultural biotechnology becomes a matter of urgency.
An expert consultation for establishing Agricultural Biotechnology Network for technical co-operation between member countries was held in December 2007 for the purpose of establishing this proposed network.
The roles of AARINENA, FAO , ICARDA and GFAR were to initiate action and provide technical support for the activities of the network.
The regional network is comprised initially from all countries in the region but other countries may join upon request at a later stage. International and Regional organizations which have a vested interest in agricultural biotechnology as well as donor countries and the private sector, including all stakeholders in the agricultural biotechnology chain from cultivation to processing all the way through to marketing, may readily join the network as members without any voting privileges.
The network was established as a partnership among all the different bodies and stakeholders in each of the participating member countries which have been involved in any manner throughout the overall agricultural biotechnology research spectrum. Funding support includes: NGOs, Private Sector, Research Institutions (Both Governmental and Non- Governmental ) and universities as well as other national and international supporting organizations. The roles of the FAO, ICARDA, GFAR and AARINENA have been to initiate action and provide support to all ongoing programs.
Objectives of the Network:
The long term objectives of the network are to mobilize the collective efforts of the interested institutions or countries in the region towards promotion of production, utilization, and economic return, enhancement of the product quality, conservation of the ecosystem and natural resources and development of agricultural biotechnology applications. These could be achieved by the following:
- Create awareness at the various policy making and technical levels within member countries on the importance of the development of agricultural biotechnology by means of an integrated approach.
- Facilitate exchange of information through the development of an information system for the collection and dissemination of information on advances in agricultural biotechnology research results
- Allow joint programs to be developed for the exchange of experiences and expertise and organization of training courses, workshops and conferences for the effective use and sharing of transferable technical information and skills.
- Enhance cooperation for the analysis and solution of common problems through joint research /development projects.
- Contribute to the formulation of national networks in each country to strengthen collaboration among national institutions, non-governmental organizations, private sector and universities.
The expected outcomes are:
- Contribute to strengthening the capacities of specialized national institutions.
- Organize workshops, information dissemination activities to stimulate the exchange of experiences among scientists.
- Organize several activities to bridge the gap between research and development.
- Foster cooperation among participating countries.