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The challenges of developing national policies and
regulations for agricultural biotechnologies:
Reflections from cumulati...
A brief overview of what is out there in terms of
ag.biotech policies and regulations
• Wide variety of countries have set...
Key question is about effectiveness: Are biotech tools integral
part of the tool-kit of ag. R&D?. Are countries and farmer...
• Many different explanations can be offered
– What is happening with ag.biotech is no
different that what is happening to...
Conventional agricultural
technology systems
Biotech based agricultural
technology systems
•Predominance of public good /
...
Looking into the future, policy design
should consider
• Access to knowledge and technology
– Integration to broader Sc&T ...
Thank you for your attention!!
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The challenges of developing national policies and regulations for agricultural biotechnologies: Reflections from cumulative experience

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The challenges of developing national policies and regulations for agricultural biotechnologies: Reflections from cumulative experience presentation by "Eduardo Trigo, Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, Buenos Aires, Argentina
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The challenges of developing national policies and regulations for agricultural biotechnologies: Reflections from cumulative experience

  1. 1. The challenges of developing national policies and regulations for agricultural biotechnologies: Reflections from cumulative experiences Eduardo J. Trigo Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación Productiva, MINCYT, Argentina
  2. 2. A brief overview of what is out there in terms of ag.biotech policies and regulations • Wide variety of countries have set in place strategies and policies to promote biotech., and regulate ag. biotech. products • Poor links to existing R&D systems. Dimensions addressed tended to emphasize R&D investments, biosafety regulatory systems, and IP issues. In some cases also wider access & tech delivery, promotion of PPPs, start-up support, etc.
  3. 3. Key question is about effectiveness: Are biotech tools integral part of the tool-kit of ag. R&D?. Are countries and farmers benefiting from the potential of new tools?  The fact is that biotech. tools and products are still not part of the “business as usual” of agricultural research and technology systems.  Capacities and investments in most national systems are weak in general. Existing data for LAC (FAO/IDB, 2010) shows data total biotech related R&D for the region, is only about 15-20% of the R&D budget of the leading firms,  A GIPB (FAO) survey for 2008 shows that the use of modern biotech in plant breeding is small, restricted to more “traditional” techniques and concentrated in just a few countries. Situation has not changed since  Situation in Africa not much different; and Asia somewhat better but mostly due to relevance of China/India.  Relatively few products – mostly GMOs – have reached the market and are highly concentrated in a few (internationally traded/large markets) crops, traits and countries.  The field is largely dominated by a few multinational companies. National participation (either public or private) is reduced at best, and limited to a small number of the large developing countries and even there success stories are few
  4. 4. • Many different explanations can be offered – What is happening with ag.biotech is no different that what is happening to conventional research (the problem is wider than biotech) – Deficient links between general science & tech. policies and ag. R&D policies – Biotech = GMO and was negatively affected by the biosafety discussion • Whatever the reasons, the fact is that the benefit arising from modern biotechnologies are just too important to pass-up and there is the need to revert past situations • Need to recognize the new institutional environment of R&D system and reflect it in policies for the sector
  5. 5. Conventional agricultural technology systems Biotech based agricultural technology systems •Predominance of public good / public institutions as main actors •Agronomic and applied science •Weak links to Sc&T •Relatively low investment requirements •“Weak” intellectual property systems •Low regulatory intensity •Trade and technology not closely related issues •Technological applications closely linked to basic research, and convergence with other sciences •Greater participations and leadership from the private sector; “technology delivery systems” • High investment requirements •“Strong” intellectual property protection systems •High regulatory intensity Biosafety & Consumer protection •Technology and trade potentially (increasingly?) related
  6. 6. Looking into the future, policy design should consider • Access to knowledge and technology – Integration to broader Sc&T system (HR, horizontal cooperation mechanism) – Investment issues, focalization, private direct investments, PPPs …. – IP Protection mechanisms – International cooperation • Utilization – Biosafety mechanisms – Technology delivery systems (seeds, tech services firms) – Public communication & consumer protection mechanisms
  7. 7. Thank you for your attention!!

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