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SAARC Regional Expert Consultation Meeting on the Progress and Prospects of Agricultural Biotechnology and Biosafety in South Asia

    June 18, 2019-June 20, 2019
    Dhaka, Bangladesh

Overview

On June 18-20, 2019 in Gazipur, Bangladesh, the Agriculture & Food Systems Institute’s South Asia Biosafety Program and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Agriculture Center co-organized the SAARC Regional Expert Consultation Meeting on the Progress and Prospects of Agricultural Biotechnology and Biosafety in South Asia, with the aim of sharing information on the current status of agricultural biotechnology and biosafety regulations in the region and identifying areas where SAARC countries can adopt harmonized policies that will provide benefits to farmers and consumers through access to agricultural biotechnology. Meeting participants included biotechnology and agricultural experts from SAARC countries, including Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh.

Publication

Agricultural Biotechnology and Biosafety in South Asia: Progress and Prospects is a book containing the papers and proceedings from this workshop, published by the SAARC Agriculture Center, in collaboration with the South Asia Biosafety Program.

Agenda

Day 1 – June 18, 2019

Inaugural Session

Welcome Address
Dr Pradyumna Raj Pandey, Senior Program Specialist (Crops), SAARC Agriculture Centre (SAC)

Keynote Lecture: Global Status and Need of Harmonization Biotechnology and Biosafety Framework
Dr. Andrew F Roberts, Deputy Executive Director, Agriculture & Food Systems Institute and Lead, South Asia Biosafety Program

Address by Special Guest
Dr. M. Shahidur Rahman Bhuiyan, Senior Food Security and Agricultural Policy Advisor, USAID

Address by Chief Guest
Mr. Kamalaranjan Das, Additional Secretary (Research Wing), Ministry of Agriculture, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh

Vote of Thanks
Dr. Aparna Islam, Country Manager, South Asia Biosafety Program

Technical Session I:  Status of Agricultural Biotechnology and Biosafety Regulatory System in SAARC Countries
Chair: Dr. Andrew F Roberts, Deputy Executive Director, Agriculture & Food Systems Institute and Lead, South Asia Biosafety Program

Bangladesh: Country Paper Presentation
Dr. Mst. Dilafroza Khanam, CSO and Head, Biotechnology Division, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute

Bhutan: Country Paper Presentation
Mr. Jambay Dorji, Sr. Planning Officer/Focal for Biosafety (GMO), Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, Government of Bhutan

India: Country Paper Presentation
Dr. Debasis Pattanayak, Principal Scientist, ICAR-National Institute for Plant Biotechnology and Professor, Division of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Indian Agricultural Research Institute

Nepal: Country Paper Presentation
Mr. Balakrishna Joshi, Scientist, Nepal Agricultural Research Center, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development

Pakistan: Country Paper Presentation
Dr. Ghulam Muhammad Ali, Chief Scientist/Director General, National Institute for Genomics and Advanced Biotechnology, National Agriculture Research Center, Pakistan Agricultural Research Council

Sri Lanka: Country Paper Presentation
D.M. Jayantha Bandara Senanayake, Principal Scientist (Biotechnology)/Director (Acting), Rice Research & Development Institute, Department of Agriculture, Government of Sri Lanka

Open Discussion

Day 2 – June 19, 2019

Technical Session II: Possibilities of Harmonization in Agricultural Biotechnology and Biosafety Regulatory System in SAARC Countries
Chair: Dr. Pradyumna Raj Pandey, Senior Program Specialist (Crops), SAARC Agriculture Centre

Bangladesh’s Positions on the Issues of Harmonization in Biosafety
Mr. Md. Solaiman Haider, Director (Planning), Department of Environment

Bureau of Indian Standards: Update on the Status of Regional Food Safety Standard
Dr. Anil Kapri, Scientist-C, Food & Agriculture Department, Bureau of Indian Standards

Regional Perspective and Possible Areas of Harmonization in Agriculture and Biosafety Regulations
Dr. Aparna Islam, Country Manager, South Asia Biosafety Program

Technical Session 3: Case Study – Fall Armyworm
Chair: Dr. Vibha Ahuja, Chief General Manager, Biotech Consortium India Limited and Senior Advisor, South Asia Biosafety Program

Background on Fall Armyworm
Dr. Timothy J. Krupnik, Senior Scientist and Systems Agronomist, International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)

Regional Harmonization for Pest Control Strategy
Dr. Joseph Huesing, Technical Expert, Independent Consultant

Open Discussion 

Technical Session 4: Mechanism for Regional Harmonization
Chair: Dr. Syed Humayun Kabir, Ex-Director General, South Asian Regional Standards Organisation (SARSO), SAARC Secretariat

SARSO as an Instrument for Regional Harmonization
Mr. Ramesh Khadka, Deputy Director, South Asian Regional Standards Organisation

Possible Harmonization Between India and Bangladesh: A Case Study
Chair: Dr. Vibha Ahuja, Chief General Manager, Biotech Consortium India Limited and Senior Advisor, South Asia Biosafety Program

Open Discussion

Concluding Session

Recommendation on Harmonization in Agriculture and Biosafety Regulations
Dr. Andrew F Roberts, Deputy Executive Director, Agriculture & Food Systems Institute and Lead, South Asia Biosafety Program

Address by Special Guest
Dr. Syed Humayun Kabir, Ex-Director General, South Asian Regional Standards Organisation (SARSO), SAARC Secretariat

Address by Chief Guest
Director General, Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economical Cooperation

Vote of Thanks
Dr. Pradyumna Raj Pandey, Senior Program Specialist (Crops), SAARC Agriculture Centre

Day 3  -June 20, 2019

Field Visit: Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI)

Briefing on BARI

Tour of Biotechnology Lab

Tour of IPM and Toxicology Lab

Tour of FMPE Lab

Tour of Post-Harvest Lab