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Alexander E. Ochem ICGEB Trieste, Italy Dissemination of Plant Biotechnology - an African Perspective WIPO-UPOV SYMPOSIUM ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS.

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Presentation on theme: "Alexander E. Ochem ICGEB Trieste, Italy Dissemination of Plant Biotechnology - an African Perspective WIPO-UPOV SYMPOSIUM ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Alexander E. Ochem ICGEB Trieste, Italy Dissemination of Plant Biotechnology - an African Perspective WIPO-UPOV SYMPOSIUM ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS IN PLANT BIOTECHNOLOGY Geneva, Switzerland, October 24, 2003

3 Alexander E. Ochem ICGEB Trieste, Italy WIPO-UPOV SYMPOSIUM ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS IN PLANT BIOTECHNOLOGY Geneva, Switzerland, October 24, 2003 Aims of Modern Plant Biotechnology: develop plant varieties with specific properties for survival in their local regions environmentally sustainable, higher yielding and less expensive varieties varieties endowed with more nutritious constituents than the wild type species varieties that help to limit post-harvest crop losses novel plant varieties to boost biodiversity

4 Alexander E. Ochem ICGEB Trieste, Italy WIPO-UPOV SYMPOSIUM ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS IN PLANT BIOTECHNOLOGY Geneva, Switzerland, October 24, 2003 Dissemination of technology availability of the tools and benefits to all especially the less privileged availability of the tools and benefits to low-scale poor farmers

5 Alexander E. Ochem ICGEB Trieste, Italy WIPO-UPOV SYMPOSIUM ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS IN PLANT BIOTECHNOLOGY Geneva, Switzerland, October 24, 2003 The need for plant biotechnology in Africa: why? 13% of worlds population live in 12%of global habitable surface area rate of population growth out-balances that of food production 40% of Africas population live on less than USD1 per day many countries in Africa depend on food-aid to fight starvation healthcare services are most inadequate in Africa and many diseases are still endemic in the Continent Africa leads the world on the major health problem of our time Amoako 2003

6 Alexander E. Ochem ICGEB Trieste, Italy WIPO-UPOV SYMPOSIUM ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS IN PLANT BIOTECHNOLOGY Geneva, Switzerland, October 24, 2003 The need for plant biotechnology in Africa: why? and rural to urban youth migration has relegated farm work to the women farm work in Africa is still predominantly manual courtesy of WARDA to the uneducated old men, courtesy of Harsch, Africa Recovery courtesy of Monsanto, Africa and to the children

7 Alexander E. Ochem ICGEB Trieste, Italy WIPO-UPOV SYMPOSIUM ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS IN PLANT BIOTECHNOLOGY Geneva, Switzerland, October 24, 2003 The poor performance of agricultural biotechnology in Africa: minimal R&D investment by governments of African countries over-dependence on foreign aid and donor institution assistance little interest in indigenous food crops from multinationals improvement in these food crops is almost inexistent global debate on the security of GM foods protection of international trading interests only South Africa was active as at 2001 inappropriate national legislation or no legislation

8 Alexander E. Ochem ICGEB Trieste, Italy WIPO-UPOV SYMPOSIUM ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS IN PLANT BIOTECHNOLOGY Geneva, Switzerland, October 24, 2003 African success stories in plant biotechnology Properties Bollgard R cotton higher yields pest resistance Courtesy of Monsanto Africa and YieldGard R maize in South africa

9 Alexander E. Ochem ICGEB Trieste, Italy WIPO-UPOV SYMPOSIUM ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS IN PLANT BIOTECHNOLOGY Geneva, Switzerland, October 24, 2003 NERICA (New Rice for AfriCA) at WARDA in West Africa possesses high yielding properties of Indian rice SAHEL 108 short life cycle therefore, double cropping CISADANE resistance to gall midge African success stories in plant biotechnology ( contd ) multiple stress resistance of African species Courtesy of WARDA, W. Africa

10 Alexander E. Ochem ICGEB Trieste, Italy WIPO-UPOV SYMPOSIUM ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS IN PLANT BIOTECHNOLOGY Geneva, Switzerland, October 24, 2003 Immediate visible benefits of GM crops less need for insecticide sprays decreased requirement for chemical fertilizers increased environmental conservation less hours spent in farmlands increase in yields and plant productivity increased personal income earnings poverty alleviation overall social well being

11 Alexander E. Ochem ICGEB Trieste, Italy WIPO-UPOV SYMPOSIUM ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS IN PLANT BIOTECHNOLOGY Geneva, Switzerland, October 24, 2003 Status of plant biotechnology in Africa adapted from Brink, J.A. et al 1998 North Africa Morocco Tunisia micropropagation of forest trees, date palms development of disease-free and stress tollerant plants molecular biology of date palms and cereals field tests for transgenic tomatoes stress tollerance and disease resistance tissue culture of date palms, prunus rootstocks and citrus DNA markers for disease resistance genetic engineering of potatoes

12 Alexander E. Ochem ICGEB Trieste, Italy WIPO-UPOV SYMPOSIUM ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS IN PLANT BIOTECHNOLOGY Geneva, Switzerland, October 24, 2003 Status of plant biotechnology in Africa (contd) adapted from Brink, J.A. et al 1998 West Africa Cameroon Nigeria Senegal tissue culture of theobroma (cocoa tree), hevea brasiliensis (rubber tree), coffea arabica (coffee tree), dioscorea sativa (yam) and xanthosoma mafutta (cocoyam) in vitro culture for the propagation of banana, oil-palm, pineapple, cotton and tea micropropagation of cassava, yam, banana and ginger and medicinal plants genetic engineering of cowpea for virus resistance marker assisted selection of maize and cassava: DNA fingerprinting of pests and microbial pathogens embryo rescue for yam regeneration of cowpea, yam, cassava and banana in vitro propagation of faidherbia albida, eucalyptus canaldulensis sesbania rostrate and acacia senegal production of rhizobial-based bioferttilizers MICERN centre for the West African sub-region

13 Alexander E. Ochem ICGEB Trieste, Italy WIPO-UPOV SYMPOSIUM ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS IN PLANT BIOTECHNOLOGY Geneva, Switzerland, October 24, 2003 Status of plant biotechnology in Africa (contd) adapted from Brink, J.A et al 1998 East and central Africa Burundi Democratic Republic of Congo production of rhizobial-based bioferttilizers Kenya tissue culture of medicinal plants production of disease free plants in vitro selection for salt resistance in finger millet in vitro long-term storage of potato and sweet potato MICERN providing biofertilizers to East African countries transformation of potato with Feathery Mottle Virus coat protein gene micropropagation of banana, potatoes, strawberries, sweet potato, citrus, sugar cane micropropagation of ornamentals and forest trees in vitro propagation of potato, soybean, maize, rice and multipurpose trees in vitro production of ornamental plants - orchids; tissue culture of medicinal plants micropropagation of potato, banana, cassava and yam

14 Alexander E. Ochem ICGEB Trieste, Italy WIPO-UPOV SYMPOSIUM ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS IN PLANT BIOTECHNOLOGY Geneva, Switzerland, October 24, 2003 Status of plant biotechnology in Africa (contd) adapted from Brink, J.A. et al 1998 East and Central Africa (contd) Uganda micropropagation of banana, coffee, cassava, granadella, pineapple, potato and sweet potato in vitro screening for disease resistance in banana production of disease free plantlets of potato, sweet potato and banana Southern Africa Madagascar tissue culture of disease-free rice and maize plantlets and medicinal plants production of bioferttilizers for groundnut and bambara groundnut Zimbabwe genetic engineering of maize, sorghum and tobacco micropropagation of coffee, cassava, tobacco, ornamental plants, potato and sweet potato

15 Alexander E. Ochem ICGEB Trieste, Italy WIPO-UPOV SYMPOSIUM ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS IN PLANT BIOTECHNOLOGY Geneva, Switzerland, October 24, 2003 Status of plant biotechnology in Africa (contd) adapted from Brink, J.A. et al 1998 Republic of South Africa Genetic engineering Molecular marker applications Tissue culture Micropropagation of potato, ornamental bulbs and rose rootstocks Embryo rescue of table grapes, sunflower and dry beans Long-term storage of potatoes, sweet potatoes, ornamental bulbs and cassava Forest trees, medicinal plants and indigenous ornamental plants Production of disease-free plants: potato, sweet potato, cassava, dry beans, banana and ornamental plants Markers for disease resistance in wheat and forestry crops Cultivar identification: potatoes, sweet potatoes, ornamentals, cereals and cassava Fruits: apricot, strawberry, peach, apple, table grapes and banana Cereals: maize, wheat, barley, sorghum, millet, sunflowers and sugarcane Vegetables and ornamentals: potato, tomato, cucurbits, ornamental bulbs cassava and sweet potato

16 Alexander E. Ochem ICGEB Trieste, Italy WIPO-UPOV SYMPOSIUM ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS IN PLANT BIOTECHNOLOGY Geneva, Switzerland, October 24, 2003 The road ahead …..to commercial production Africa lags dramatically behind other regions in implementation of biotechnology This situation risks to exacerbate social inequities and plunge the Continent deeper into misery and total dependence on the developed countries for subsistence Governments of African countries must refocus attention on agricolture Amoako 2003 Public funding of R&D in agricoltural biotechnology is mandatory to boost the overall sustainable productivity of more nutritious food in the Continent Plant biotechnology should pass from laboratory tests and feild trials Courtesy of WARDA

17 Alexander E. Ochem ICGEB Trieste, Italy WIPO-UPOV SYMPOSIUM ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS IN PLANT BIOTECHNOLOGY Geneva, Switzerland, October 24, 2003 Positive signals Creation of ACCI at the University of Natal, South Africa for training scientists in biotechnology of African crops adaptable to the African environment Increased government budget for biotechnology research and development in Nigeria Similar initiatives in other countries of Africa would certainly turn around the destinies of their citizens Courtesy of WARDA ………and disseminate the smile in the faces of these children

18 Alexander E. Ochem ICGEB Trieste, Italy WIPO-UPOV SYMPOSIUM ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS IN PLANT BIOTECHNOLOGY Geneva, Switzerland, October 24, 2003 You can not rationally argue with the hungry on the potential health risks that may derive from being overfed If African countries fail to feed the present generation of their citizens due to fears of the potential dangers deriving from GM foods, then there would probably not be any future generations of Africans to protect from such potential dangers Responsible biotechnology is not the enemy; starvation is. Without adequate food suplies at affordable prices, we cannot expect world health, or peace Jimmy Carter Conclusions


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