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2.0 The national plant breeding survey questionnaire

To quantify the status and progress in investment and production of national plant breeding programmes, FAO considered it necessary to implement a survey. The approach to the issue in general, including the questionnaire in particular, was designed through an expert consultation. This in turn led to the paper Towards the Sustainable Use of Plant Genetic Resources Food and Agriculture (PGRFA): Strengthening Plant Breeding, which was prepared for the Working Group on PGRFA of the CGRFA (CGRFA/WG-PGR-2/03/2). The questionnaire is included as Annex I. It is being used to gather information on plant breeding capacity in terms of budget allocation and staff establishment between 1985 and 2004. Moreover, it requires information to be supplied on the crops addressed in national programmes and the extent of application of biotechnology to plant breeding. At the time of the workshop, 18 countries had completed the questionnaire. It is planned to build on the results of the pilot phase and send the questionnaire to many more countries, with the ultimate aim of producing and maintaining an up-to-date database on national plant breeding programmes. Some of the information from the completed questionnaires was presented and discussed at the workshop.