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Vietnam, IFPRI hold seminar on bio-tech safety

(Xinhua)

16:37, August 16, 2011

HANOI, Aug. 16 (Xinhua) -- A seminar on the strategy to develop safe and efficient bio-technology system in Vietnam was held here on Tuesday by the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

During the conference, participants focused on the establishment of instruments for bio-tech safety, including the Net-Mapping which has been applied by IFPRI since 2008. Net- Mapping helps in raising awareness of bio-technology for the Vietnamese policy makers at all levels. It points out the usefulness and challenges of bio-technology and how to approach it in an efficient way, and defines the potentials and objectives of related parties for bio-tech development.

Application of bio-tech to agriculture is both opportunity and challenge to Vietnam. Compared with traditional farming technique, it brings more benefits to the farmers and helps plants better adaptive to the ever increasing climate change. Vietnam is now on its initial stage of bio-tech research and application and it faces with numerous challenges, MARD Deputy Minister Bui Ba Bong addressed at the conference.

Vietnam has issued systematically legal documents relating to bio-tech safety and development. It set up policies on cooperation and experience exchange with other countries and application of bio-tech properly to the country's cultivation. The country also set priority in producing new species of plants and animals of high quality, output and economic competitiveness, so as to develop the national bio-tech to the regional standards, Bong said.

According to Dr. Julian Adams, country coordinator of the Program for Bio-safety Systems (PBS) in Asia, by 2010 there were 29 countries in the world, which have been permitted to grow genetic plants. During 1996-2009, bio-tech applied plants helped increase the farmers' incomes to nearly 65 billion U.S. dollars. PBS supports Vietnam in training, conducting experiments and holding conferences related to bio-tech safety.

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