The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) hosted a seminar in Hanoi on August 16 to seek effective strategies to develop a safe biotechnology system in Vietnam.
The participants focused on discussing tools to establish a biotechnology safety system, including the Net-Mapping which was developed by IFPRI in 2008.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Bui Ba Bong said that application of biotechnology in agriculture is both an opportunity and a challenge to Vietnam, since the country is still in its initial stage of bio-tech research related to genetic modifications and biological, environmental and human health risks.
Vietnam has issued a set of legal documents relating to biotech safety and development, as well as policies on cooperation and experience exchange with other countries in this field. Its focus will be on producing new species of plants and animals of high quality and economic value, to boost the national bio-tech sector to regional standards, Bong said.
Julian Adams, Coordinator of the Programme for Bio-Safety System in Asia said as many as 29 countries in the world had allowed the planting of genetically modified trees by 2010. In 14 years (1996 – 2009), bio-tech applied trees helped raise farmers’ incomes to almost US$65 billion.