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Conference - Towards sustainable agriculture for developing countries: options from life sciences and biotechnologies
Last update: 30/05/2003 Element graphique Element graphique
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Opening session

Opening address: The contribution of the life sciences to creating a world without famine, by Philippe Busquin, European Commissioner for Research

About the conference, by Victor de Lorenzo

Introduction: setting the scene

The life sciences revolution and development, by Professor Ismail Serageldin

  • The food security challenge
  • The production challenge
  • A 'doubly green revolution'
  • Diversity, genetics, context
  • Separating the issues
  • New partnerships
  • Conclusion

Products for sustainable agricultural development, by Dr Florence Wambugu

  • Background
  • The cost of food
  • Divergent views on GMOs
  • Biotech opportunities
  • Addressing concerns
  • Consequences of the EU moratorium
  • An African strategy

Harnessing genetic resources and making use of life sciences, a New Contract for Sustainable Agriculture, by Louise O. Fresco

  • Where do we want to go?
  • The molecular divide
  • Life sciences and society: a new contract
  • Facilitate an open dialogue on the benefits and risks of
  • biotechnology
  • Direct public and private research to respond to key challenges
  • Ensuring access and benefit sharing
  • To build this social contract: concrete proposals
  • Conclusion
Challenge 1: What could life sciences do to improve the health and nutrition of the poor without compromising food safety and the environment?

Case study: Nutrition and health via biocontrol and adaptation of cultural practices, by Dr Peter Hartmann

  • About IITA
    • Example 1: Cassava
    • Example 2: maize and peanuts
    • Example 3: Cowpea
  • Final comments

Open discussion on the introductory session and challenge 1 and responses from the speakers

Challenge 2: How can life science techniques improve food production and economic growth?

Case study 1: Sharing sustainable technologies among developing countries to improve livestock production, by Professor Tilahun Yilma

  • About ILMB
  • The rinderpest story
  • A new vaccine
  • Features of the new vaccine
  • Partners, not beggars
  • Capacity building
  • Recommendations for Africa

Case study 2: Role of the life sciences in promoting economic viability in aquaculture, by Professor Toong Jin Lam

  • Larviculture
  • Grow-out
  • Conclusion

Open discussion on challenge 2

Challenge 3: How can life sciences contribute to the production of food under marginal conditions?

Case study: Use of biotechnology to increase food production on acid soils, byProfessor Luis Herrera-Estrella

  • Background
  • Aluminium toxicity in acid soils
  • Countering aluminium toxicity
  • Plants that tolerate aluminium
  • Transgenic plants that tolerate manganese
  • Nutrient deficiencies in acidic soils
  • Solutions to phosphate deficiency
  • Transgenic approach to phosphate deficiency
  • Will developing countries benefit?

Open discussion on challenge 3

Challenge 4: How can life sciences contribute to income generation, in particular by creating new markets in developing countries?

Case study: The use of sugarcane genomics to create plants for sustainable energy production, by Dr Paulo Arruda

  • Sugarcane in Brazil
  • Training for improvement
  • Ethanol as fuel
  • Genetics can contribute

Open discussion on challenge 4

Challenge 5: How can developing countries become ‘actors’ in the genome revolution?

Case study: Human and rice genome research in China, by Professor Huan Ming Yang

  • Some history
  • China and HapMap
  • The Beijing Genomics Institute
  • Genomics and ethics
  • Conclusion

Open discussion on challenge 5

Challenge 6: How can life sciences contribute to reducing pesticide use?

Case study: Management of Bt cotton in Australia and drawing lessons on how this should be done around the world, by Dr Jim Peacock and Dr Gary Fitt

  • Saving a booming industry
  • Spectacular growth to threatened existence
  • Genes
  • Benefits of the new technology
  • Management
  • Environment
  • Conclusions
Challenge 7: How can life sciences provide added value from agrobiodiversity?

Case study: Adding value to environmentally ADAPTED animal genetic resources in developing countries: the case of disease in African livestock, by Dr Olivier Hanotte

  • Background
  • A livestock revolution
  • Example 1: Disease resistance trait: trypanosomosis
  • Biotechnology and trypanosomosis
  • Example 2: Vaccine development: East Coast fever (ECF)
  • Biotechnology and ECF
  • Conclusion

Open discussion on challenges 6 and 7

Lessons for policy-making

EU development policy, by Poul Nielson, European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid

Sustainable agriculture: lessons for a reflection on policy, by Philippe Busquin, European Commissioner for Research

  • Preliminary considerations
  • The value of knowledge and research
    • Strategy and Action Plan
    • Our privileged instrument for research
    • Scientific and technological cooperation between the EU and developing countries
  • Developing countries and the European research Area
  • Final considerations and an invitation to take part in the debate

Biotechnology for developing country agriculture: policy lessons, by Professor Timothy Reeves

  • Policy coherence and integration
  • Different perspectives
  • Benefits vs. risks
  • Meeting people’s needs
  • Issues for future action
  • Conclusions

Lessons for policy-making – open discussion

Core debate

Conclusions of the European Group on Life Sciences - PDF