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Putting Biotechnology into Practice in International Development. Josette Lewis, Ph.D. USAID. Key Challenges. Lack of public funding for biotech research Need to build system from the laboratory to the farmer’s field Lack of experience in the public sector Complex sociopolitical environment.

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putting biotechnology into practice in international development

Putting Biotechnology into Practice in International Development

Josette Lewis, Ph.D.

USAID

key challenges
Key Challenges
  • Lack of public funding for biotech research
  • Need to build system from the laboratory to the farmer’s field
  • Lack of experience in the public sector
  • Complex sociopolitical environment
slide3

Scientific

Training

Regulatory

Framework

PVP/IPR

Policy

Technology

Transfer

$

R&D

Infrastructure

Technology

Biosafety

Varietal

Release

Laboratory

Facilities

IPR

Food & Env.

Safety

Seed

Industry

BIOTECHNOLOGY

Agri-industry

Outreach

Economic Growth

Food Security

Improved Nutrition

Market

Farmers

Public Outreach

Extension

technology development
Technology Development
  • Asia

egg plant* potatoes groundnut rice

tomatoes papaya chickpea*

  • Africa

cowpea banana animal vaccines*

cassava sweet potato* potato*

  • US universities, AATF, national and African regional organizations
lessons learned
Lessons Learned
  • Research versus Product Development
    • tackle big problems - set scope too widely?
    • global research not likely to be picked up locally to develop products
    • define specific market (variety, value of trait to farmer, how to deliver)
    • need to manage & invest in linkages throughout process
lessons learned1
Lessons Learned
  • Little experience in public sector
    • 209 events: 44 in confined field trails

22 in large scale field trails (China)

only 7 countries have 5 trials

    • low # of events: 54 in Africa in 20 crops

111 in Asia in 30 crops

30 in Latin America in 12 crops

    • public crops commercialized: papaya in US and several in China
key challenges1
Key Challenges
  • Lack of public funding for biotech research
  • Need to build system from the laboratory to the farmer’s field
  • Lack of experience in the public sector
  • Sociopolitical context
challenge sociopolitical context
Challenge: Sociopolitical Context

“I’d rather die than eat something toxic.”

“Genetic modification is just a weapon to bring Indian agriculture under the domination of American corporations.”

“It was my job to ensure we weren’t accused of over hastiness [in GM approvals].”

not all bad news successes
Not all Bad News: Successes
  • Bt cotton shows that small farmers will benefit from biotechnology
  • Field trials in developing countries
  • Regulatory challenge: educating public researchers with assistance from industry
  • Science continues to expand the opportunities