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 was both an opportunity and a challenge to Vietnam, since the country was now in its initial stage of bio-tech research related to genetic modifications and biological, environmental and human health risks.

Vietnam had 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. It set a priority in producing new species of plants and animals of high quality and economic competitiveness, to develop the national bio-tech sector to regional standards, Bong said.

Julian Adams, Coordinator of the Programme for Bio-Safety System in Asia said that by 2010, there were 29 countries in the world that had allowed the planting of genetically modified trees. During the 1996 – 2009 period, bio-tech applied trees helped raise farmers’ incomes to almost 65 billion USD.

Source: VNA