Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia (REU)

Agricultural Research and Biotechnologies

Agricultural research, extension and biotechnologies are internationally recognized to play a significant role in strengthening the preparedness and resilience of the agricultural systems to global threats (e.g. economic and food crises, climate change), thus contributing to improve the livelihoods of the rural population in a sustainable manner, especially when properly embedded in a holistic and integrative approach. The Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia (REU), in close collaboration with the Office of Knowledge Exchange, Research and Extension (OEKR) has long term experience and considerable comparative advantage in the areas of agricultural research, extension and application of new technologies. It is in the unique position to significantly contribute to merging the existing gaps in the national agricultural knowledge, research and extension systems (NARES) of the countries in Europe and Central Asia by:

Promoting inventories  and assessment studies of the most promising genetic resources, locally developed breeds and lines, and good practices and successful stories (innovations) and information and communication needs and gaps in NARES from the region that contribute to the sustainability of the agricultural sector;

Strengthening the functional linkages between all stakeholders of the AKIS; researchers, academia, private and public extension, farmers, retailers and small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) so as to allow the generation and fast adoption of appropriate innovations and their market implications;

Enhancing the administrative and institutional capacity of governments and stakeholders to embrace and apply adequate knowledge-based strategies, policies and legal frameworks in the field of agricultural research, extension and biotechologies;

Advocacy and assistance  in adopting proper policies and legal frameworks to ensure sustainable and safe use of new technologies, including biotechnologies  in agriculture, while raising a broad public awareness through an adequate communication strategy;

Facilitating and promoting FAO’s participation in regional and international initiatives and efforts in agricultural research, extension and biotechnologies such as the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR), the Global Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (GFRAS), the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), the European System of Cooperative Research Networks (ESCORENA),  the Central Asia and the Caucasus Association of Agricultural Research Institutions (CACAARI), the Black Sea Biotechnology Association (BSBA), and the International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies  to name but a few.

The technical assistance to member countries under the programme of Agricultural Research, Extension and Biotechnologies is mainstreamed in the following thematic areas:

 Stregthening national agricultural research and extension systems

 Generation and adoption of innovations for agricultural development

 Biotechnology and biosafety

Related technical cooperation projects

UNJP/006/ALB/UNJ “Assessment of current agricultural research and extension system, stakeholder information and communication needs and gaps for providing effective and relevant services to Albanian smallholder farmers” under UN ”Delivery as ONE” programme continues as “Strengthening the functional linkages and building capacities among the stakeholders of the national research and extension system for providing effective and relevant services to Albanian smallholder farmers” in 2011

TCP facility “Technical Support for Human Resources Development of Agricultural Advisory Services” in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, FYR Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and UNMIK Kosovo

TCP/ARM/3103 “Establishment of a virtual extension and research information and communication network (VERCON)” in Armenia;

GCP/RER/029/TUR “Capacity development for analysis and strengthening of agricultural innovation systems (AIS) in Central Asia and Turkey” for Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan

TCP/RER/3207 D “Capacity building in agricultural biotechnologies and biosafety” for Armenia, Georgia and Republic of Moldova

TCP/CRO/3102 “Capacity building of regulatory agencies for handling and monitoring genetically modified crops, products and processed food” in Croatia