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Workshop on Agricultural Biotechnology for Knowledge Sharing in NENA Region 2 – 4 July 2012, Cairo Egypt. Agricultural Biotechnology & Information and Communication Technology in Republic of Yemen. Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation (MAI).

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Workshop on Agricultural Biotechnology for Knowledge Sharing in NENA Region

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Workshop on Agricultural Biotechnology for

Knowledge Sharing in NENA Region

2 – 4 July 2012, Cairo Egypt

Agricultural Biotechnology & Information and Communication Technology in

Republic of Yemen

Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation (MAI)

Agricultural Research and Extension Authority (AREA)

Dr. Hamoud Ali AbdallaMokbel


Background:

  • Total land area has been estimated at 55.5 million hectares,

  • Arable land is about 3.5 million ha,

  • Cultivated area of Yemen is about 1.4 million ha,

  • The population is about 22 Million inhabitants,

  • Agriculture contribute about 11% to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

  • The main institutions involve in agricultural research in Yemen are: 1) Agricultural Research and Extension Authority (AREA); 2)University of Sana’a, Faculty of Agriculture; 3) University of Aden, Nasser Faculty of Agriculture Science.

  • Agricultural Biotechnology R&D is relatively new issue in Yemen


  • Some Effort Done on Biotechnology:

  • Faculty of Agriculture at Sana’a University has good lab space as well as good facilities for Tissue Culture;

  • AREA established Tissues Culture Laboratory in AREA Headquarter, Dhamar;

  • AREA established Tissue Culture Lab in Eastern Plateau Research Station (Seyoun) for date palm micro-propagation.

Al-Salehy et al. (2012)


  • Some Effort Done on Biotechnology:

  • AREA, recently, supplied Biotech Laboratory in Dhamar by new equipments like:

  • Real time PCR, Conventional PCR,

  • Gel documentation system, electrophoreses

  • As well as a PAGE gel and ELISA and other related equipments.

  • AREA used the available fund from a new project on Biodiversity and Climate Change to order new equipments and regents.


  • Some Effort Done on Biotechnology:

  • AREA trained in country 14 Scientists in PGRFA molecular characterization,

  • AREA had a chance for training on Biotechnology in different institutions and laboratories some of this as follows:

  • DNA extraction from different crops, various DNA marker techniques like AFLP, ISSR at International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) laboratories – Vienna- Austria,

  • Introduction on Bioinformatics at Agricultural Genetic Engineering Research Institute (AGERI) –Egypt,

  • Practical training on molecular marker at ICARDA and on GMO,s detection at ICARDA too with cooperation of FAO.


AREA Biotech Lab, Dhamar


Information and Communication

Technology (ICT):

  • ICT consists of IT as well as telecommunication, broadcast media, all types of audio and video processing and transmission and network based control and monitoring functions,

  • The term was first used in 1997 by Dennis Stevenson,

  • The term ICT is now also used to refer to the merging (convergence) of audio-visual and telephone networks with computer networks through a single cabling or link system,

  • National Agricultural Biotechnology Knowledge Network is absent now in Yemen, but there are some ICT for Traditional Agricultural.


  • Information and Communication

  • Technology (ICT):

  • Policies and Strategies

  • Ministry of Telecommunication and Information Technology (MTIT) prepare a 2001-2025 ICT strategic vision for the purpose of supporting the development plans.

  • Strategic vision was not followed by the identification of policies

  • National Information Centre (NIC) has started some efforts in the year 2002 to prepare a national information strategy.


  • Information and Communication

  • Technology (ICT):

  • Policies and Strategies

  • In agriculture there have been a lot of emphases on the development of agricultural information systems:

  • First Five-year Plan (2000 – 2005), Second Five-year Plan (2006 – 2010).

  • Aden Agenda, the National Research Strategy, and the National Extension Strategy.

  • MAI with cooperation of UNDP formulates Agricultural Strategy Action Plan for five year period (2012 – 2016).

  • All of these were developed to meet the growing needs for information in agriculture sector.


  • Information and Communication

  • Technology (ICT):

  • Policies and Strategies

  • Yemeni EPA with cooperation of UNEP drafting National Biosafety Framework (NBF), which contains :

  • regulation

  • policies

  • guidelines for use, handling and

  • contain used of LMO,s in the country

  • Beside, information sharing with Biosafety Clearing House (BCH) at UNEP web site is one of international ICT on biotechnology sharing information.


  • Information and Communication

  • Technology (ICT):

  • Structure and Management

  • Local centre and general directorates interest with collecting, processing, documentation and communication of Agricultural Information:

  • General Directorate of Agricultural Statistics, MAI;

  • Documentation and Agricultural Information Centre, MAI;

  • General Directorate of Agricultural Extension and Information, MAI;

  • General Directorate of Information and Documentation of AREA;

  • General Directorate of Technology Transfer of AREA.

  • All of these centre and general directorates may be will play a vital role in Agricultural Biotechnology ICT and IC management.


  • Information and Communication

  • Technology (ICT):

  • Infrastructure and Applications

  • Second generation of Internet Facilities are available in Yemen,

  • All AREA Agricultural Research Stations and Centers connecting with ADSL internet,

    • Some Stations/Centers have internal internet Network to scientists office,

  • AREA website established to communicate research outputs and to ensure public awareness.

  • AREA planed for establishment electronic network to connecting its research station & centers; recently the implementation start with USAID cooperation.

http://www.area.gov.ye/english/ENGLISH.html


  • Information and Communication

  • Technology (ICT):

  • Infrastructure and Applications

  • AREA established Electronic Information Data Base:

  • Local PGRFA Data Base with FAO cooperation,

  • Gene Bank Data Base of National Genetic Resource Centre,

  • Library Indexing for the Central Library of AREA,

  • Data Base of GIS in National Natural Resource Centre,

  • Data Base Information for AREA research project activities,

  • Data Base for AREA publications and the periodical Journal.

  • All of these Data Bases Information are not accessible except the first one.


  • Information and Communication

  • Technology (ICT):

  • Infrastructure and Applications

  • FAO funded establishment website for Information Sharing Mechanism for Plant Genetic Resource of Yemen.

  • Beside, some efforts done by FAO for establish Regional GMOs detection Platform. One of the outputs was establishment a regional website for Agricultural Biotechnology Knowledge.

  • AGORA website the most important source for knowledge sharing information in modern biotechnology, international free access.

http://www.pgrfa.org/gpa/yem/description1.html

http://rabnena.net/Pages/Index.aspx?CMSId=8


  • Information and Communication

  • Technology (ICT):

  • Information dissemination

  • Under the supervision of Agricultural Extension and Information GD Yemen radio and TV disseminating information about traditional agricultural and valid ITK for farmers and public. Rare information about Biosafety disseminated,

  • Daily radio program propagating early morning and at night,

  • TV program weekly propagating,

  • Publications are the main tool for scientific information dissemination: technical reports, papers in periodical scientific journal; three Scientific Journal available, one published by AREA, second published by Unv. Of Aden and the last published by Yemeni Society of Biological Science.


  • Information and Communication

  • Technology (ICT):

  • Information dissemination

  • Libraries are the main source for scientific information dissemination.

  • AREA has central Library at head quarter and most Agricultural Research stations and Centers have a good Library; all open for interest scientist and students.

  • Faculty of Agriculture, Sana’a Unv. and Nasser Faculty of Agricultural Science, Aden Unv. have their own Libraries.

  • Most Scientists sharing information through E-mail, especially whom interest on modern biotechnology,

  • Agricultural Biotechnology still under construction, so its information dissemination will appear clearly after or during the process of enhancing the institutional Agricultural Biotechnology.


  • Constrains affecting ICT development:

  • Sallam, 2006 summarized the most important constraints could be affecting ICT development in Yemen as follows:

  • Lack of proper strategies and policies in the efficient use and the development of ICT,

  • Lack of proper data collection and information analysis mechanisms,

  • Inconsistency of collected data,

  • Lack of awareness about the importance of information and information technology,


  • Constrains affecting ICT development:

  • Sallam, 2006 summarized the most important constraints could be affecting ICT development in Yemen as follows:

  • Lack of ICT technical skills,

  • Lack of managerial and administrative skills resulting in poor utilization of ICT in the decision making processes,

  • Lack of rules and regulations resulting in the spread of corruption and low incentives among the private firms to invest in ICT,

  • Lack of consistency in communication, preparation of collaborative programs, and exchange of information between AARINENA member countries.


  • Outlook for ICT improvement:

  • AREA shall be play a vital role with cooperation of MAI, regional and international agencies to formulate national strategy on Agricultural ICT. That could be attained by following actions:

  • Preparation and implementation of proper policies and regulations that remove barriers that affect ICT development and adoption

  • Institutional capacity building and staff training in information systems’ development,

  • Mobilization of financial and human resources to support building a comprehensive agricultural information system,

  • Development of linkage mechanisms between researchers and extensionists through the use of efficient information and communication technologies,

  • Development of sustainable links with regional and international agencies related to ICT support and development,

  • Beside, AREA shall be adopt and function the Modern Agricultural Biotechnology by establishment National Agricultural Biotechnology Center.


Thank you for your attention


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