Research & Extension

Publications

Jun 2011
This book represents the proceedings of the FAO international technical conference dedicated to Agricultural Biotechnologies in Developing Countries (ABDC-10) that took place in Guadalajara, Mexico on 1-4 March 2010. A major objective of the conference was to take stock of the application of biotechnologies across the different food and agricultural sectors in developing countries, in order to learn from the past and to identify options for the future to face the challenges of food insecurity, climate change and natural resource degradation.

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Jan 2011
During the period 2002-10, FAO undertook an intense activity of biosafety capacity development, largely centred on enhancing the capacities of regulators and other technical staff involved in the implementation of biosafety frameworks, along with other components. The training programme was tailored to meet the needs of a very specific audience: biosafety regulators, policy-makers and members of national biosafety committees, with diverse educational backgrounds, not necessarily well versed in all the biosafety-related fields.

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Dec 2010
The FAO Biotechnology glossary is a convenient reference source for researchers, students, technicians and translators. It provides consolidated, comprehensive and accessible definitions of over 3,000 terms and acronyms that are used regularly in biotechnology, including genetic engineering, and closely allied fields. The original English version, prepared by A. Zaid, H.G. Hughes, E. Porceddu and F. Nicholas in 2001, has progressively been translated into nine languages, the most recent ones being Chinese (2010) and Polish (2011). The Glossary has also been released as a multilingual CD-ROM.

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Oct 2010
The October 2010 issue of the scientific journal Biomass and Bioenergy contains this article by J. Ruane, A. Sonnino and A. Agostini, which is an abbreviated and updated version of the background document prepared for an e-mail conference hosted by the FAO Biotechnology Forum on the same subject.

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Jun 2010
This study is the result of the in-depth review of FAO’s capacity building activities in biosafety. It provides a general presentation of FAO’s conceptual framework on biosafety – the FAO Biosecurity framework – and illustrates the portfolio of past and current biosafety projects at national, regional and global level, together with their structure, components and financing modality. This publication is expected not only to contribute to planning FAO future activities in this area, but also to provide strategic inputs to the formulation of shared biosafety capacity building strategies at the global level.

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Aug 2009
This chapter provides an overview of the techniques, current status and issues involved in using marker-assisted selection (MAS) for genetic improvement in developing countries. Molecular marker maps, the necessary framework for any MAS programme, have been constructed for the majority of agriculturally important species, although the density of the maps varies considerably among species. Despite the considerable resources that have been invested in this field and despite the enormous potential it still represents, with few exceptions, MAS has not yet delivered its expected benefits in commercial breeding programmes for crops, livestock, forest trees or farmed fish in the developed world.

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May 2009
The Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR) has launched its new web site. The site contains an extensive document repository, featuring over 1,000 publications from GFAR and it's Regional Fora dealing with important areas of focus such as both new and learned methods of research, innovation, regional research priorities and more. Members of “e-GFAR” are able to participate in Forum debates, post news items and also submit reports, papers and other information regarding agricultural research on this site.

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Feb 2009
This publication is comprised of three papers. The first, by A. Sonnino and co-authors, discusses some approaches used in impact assessment of innovations and presents a general overview of the literature about the impacts of non-transgenic biotechnologies. The second, by Z. Dhlamini and co-authors, surveys the extent of micropropagation application in Gabon, Mali, Nigeria, Uganda and Zimbabwe. The third, by P. Warren and co-authors, reports the findings of two field studies, on micropropagation of banana in Uganda and of sweetpotato in Zimbabwe.

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Jan 2009
FAO moderated e-mail conference entitled "The role of agricultural biotechnologies for production of bioenergy in developing countries" took place from 10 November to 14 December 2008. Major topics of discussion included applications of biotechnologies in jatropha; the potential benefits for small-scale farmers of applying biotechnologies for bioenergy production; biogas production in developing countries; and production of enzymes for efficient bioconversion of lignocellulosic biomass to liquid biofuels. Of the different biotechnologies, most attention was paid to applications of genetic modification, molecular markers and tissue culture in crops for biofuel purposes.

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