Research and Extension Systems

Agricultural biotechnologies

Agricultural biotechnologies encompass a wide range of technologies applied in crops, livestock, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture, and agro-industry. They include low-tech approaches, such as artificial insemination, fermentation techniques and biofertilizers, as well as high-tech approaches involving advanced DNA-based methodologies and genetic modification.

Agricultural biotechnologies are used for different purposes, such as the genetic improvement of plants and animals to increase their yields or efficiency, characterization and conservation of genetic resources for food and agriculture, plant and animal disease diagnosis, vaccine development and production of fermented foods.

Regarding agricultural biotechnologies, FAO assists its member countries by responding to their requests for advice or technical assistance, providing high-quality, updated science-based information and offering a neutral forum for discussion of policy and technical issues.

Global and regional meetings on agricultural biotechnologies

In February 2016, FAO organized the International Symposium on the Role of Agricultural Biotechnologies in Sustainable Food Systems and Nutrition at FAO headquarters. It was attended by over 400 participants, including 230 delegates from 75 member countries.

As a follow up, FAO organized regional meetings in Malaysia in September 2017 for the Asia-Pacific region and in Ethiopia in November 2017 for sub-Saharan Africa. About 160 people, including delegates nominated by 28 governments in Asia-Pacific, and over 200 people, including delegates nominated by 30 governments in sub-Saharan Africa, attended the regional meetings respectively.


This e-mail newsletter contains information from FAO, other United Nations agencies/bodies and the Consultative Group of International Agriculture Research (CGIAR) relevant to agricultural biotechnologies in developing countries. The newsletter was launched in 2002 and is delivered in all six official languages of the United Nations to nearly 5 000 subscribers.