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FAO Regional Meeting on Agricultural Biotechnologies in Asia-Pacific

The FAO Regional Meeting on Agricultural Biotechnologies in Sustainable Food Systems and Nutrition in Asia-Pacific took place on 11-13 September 2017 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The meeting was hosted and co-organised by the Government of Malaysia.

It was the first of four regional meetings that FAO is planning to organise in 2017-2018 as a follow-up to the FAO International Symposium on The Role of Agricultural Biotechnologies in Sustainable Food Systems and Nutrition, which took place on 15-17 February 2016 at FAO Headquarters, Rome.

The regional meeting brought together about 200 representatives of governments; intergovernmental organizations; private sector entities; academia and research institutions; and civil society organizations and producer organizations. The meeting encompassed a wide spectrum of available biotechnologies used in forestry, crops, livestock and aquaculture/fisheries, from low- to high-tech.

The 2.5-day meeting consisted of presentations by 42 speakers and moderated discussions during 9 plenary and 6 parallel sessions dedicated to a wide range of issues concerning agricultural biotechnologies in the region, including investments; dissemination, adoption and use of biotechnologies (and their social and economic impacts); regional innovation opportunities; regulation, policies and intellectual property rights; genetic resources for food and agriculture; nutrition; climate change and south-south cooperation.

Ahead of the meeting, the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific produced four short videos with real examples of biotechnologies being applied to meet the needs of smallholders in Asia-Pacific. They covered the use of: artificial insemination and semen sexing in dairy cows for milk production in Nepal; DNA-based diagnostics and probiotics for disease management in shrimp populations in Thailand; DNA marker-assisted selection to develop Swarna-Sub1, a rice variety tolerant to floods in India; and tissue culture for propagating tree planting stock for agroforestry in Thailand. On the first day of the meeting, FAO also released a news story entitled “Improved access to agricultural biotechnologies needed to help defeat hunger, malnutrition and poverty in the Asia-Pacific region”.

The meeting website provides links to a wide range of material related to the event, including links to the press release, the new videos, frequently asked questions (FAQs) as well as the final agenda and abstracts of presentations made. All further materials from the meeting, such as the speakers’ presentations, will also be available on the website in the near future. See or contact for further information.