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Agricultural Biotechnology: Global and Local Experience

    December 9, 2020
    6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
    Dhaka, Bangladesh (Virtual)

Overview

Bangladesh is a rapidly developing country, experiencing rapid population growth, increased urbanization, and economic development. To keep up with the needs of an expanding society, and to benefit rural populations and smallholder farmers, Bangladesh’s agricultural research organizations are making enormous progress in producing improved crop varieties. This includes the use of biotechnology, which opens up new frontiers for achieving sustainable nutrition. The safety of these new products is managed through a well-developed biosafety process, informed by international agreements and experience with agricultural biotechnology over the last twenty years.

In this context, the South Asia Biosafety Program, in collaboration with USAID, USDA, and the State Department, organized a webinar on December 9, 2020 titled “Agricultural Biotechnology: Global and Local Experience.” The program featured a keynote address from Dr. Stuart Smyth of the University of Saskatchewan on the global experience with agricultural biotechnology. This was preceded by an overview of USAID’s approach to agricultural biotechnology and followed by two presentations from agricltural biotechnology projects that are ongoing in Bangladesh. The program concluded with an overview of Bangladesh’s biosafety regulatory system and a question-and-answer period. The objective of the program was to provide an update on the status of biotechnology development in Bangladesh and raise awareness of how this technology is being managed to achieve sustainable benefits for the country and how biosafety processes function to ensure safety for humans and the environment.

Andrew Roberts, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer Agriculture & Food Systems Institute (AFSI)
Mr. John Smith-Sreen
Director, Office of Economic Growth USAID – Bangladesh
Dr. Stuart Smyth
Associate Professor, University of Saskatchewan
Dr. Md. Abdullah Yousuf Akhond
Chief Scientific Officer, Biotechnology Division Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI)
Dr. Md. Abdul Kader
Principal Scientific Officer, Plant Breeding Division Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI)

AGENDA

6:00 pm

Welcome & Introduction to the Program

Dr. Andrew Roberts
Interim CEO & Vice President – Biotechnology, Agriculture & Food Systems Institute

6:15 pm

Remarks by Chair

Mr. John Smith-Sreen
Director, Office of Economic Growth, USAID – Bangladesh

6:40 pm

Global Experience with Agricultural Biotechnology: Economic and Social Impacts of Innovation

Dr. Stuart Smyth
Professor, University of Saskatchewan

7:00 pm

Bangladesh Experience with Biotechnology: Bt Brinjal and Biotech Potato

Dr. Md. Abdullah Yousuf Akhond
Chief Scientific Officer, Biotechnology Division, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI)

7:15 pm

Bangladesh Experience with Biotechnology: Golden Rice

Dr. Md. Abdul Kader
Principal Scientific Officer, Plant Breeding Division, Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI)

7:30 pm

Biosafety Considerations

Dr. Andrew Roberts
Interim CEO & Vice President – Biotechnology, Agriculture & Food Systems Institute

7:55 pm

Discussion/Q&A

Dr. Andrew Roberts (moderator)
Interim CEO & Vice President – Biotechnology, Agriculture & Food Systems Institute

9:00 pm

Adjourn