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Biotechnology Priorities for South Africa

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Title: Biotechnology Priorities for South Africa


1
Biotechnology Priorities for South Africa
  • Prof. Diran Makinde
  • AfricaBio
  • Cape Town- 14/15 April 2003

2
Why was AfricaBio created?
  • Provide biotechnology stakeholders with a
    platform for biotechnology in SA and Africa
  • To address a strong misinformation campaign in SA
    media on modern biotechnology
  • Our experience had shown that there was relevance
    for biotechnology in Africa
  • A moratorium would prevent South Africa accessing
    and testing relevant technologies

3
AfricaBios role
  • Make available accurate information.
  • Encourage informed debate.
  • Promote safe, ethical and responsible use of
    biotechnology.

  • Interact with government and civil society.
  • Interact with international bodies.
  • Provide education and training.
  • Stimulate new biotechnology development

4
GM Crops World-wide
  • Over 30 GM Crops.
  • Including the following maize, soya beans,
    tomatoes, canola, potatoes, peppers,
    cabbage,cucumber, squash, cotton, grapes, carrots
    and chicory.

5
Global Area of Transgenic Crops, 1996 to 2002
Industrial and Developing Countries (million
hectares)
58.7
52.6
42.7
39.1
16
13.5
Source Clive James, 2002
6
A compelling case for GM crops
  • Increase crop productivity and contribute to
    global food, feed and fiber security
  • Conserving biodiversity, through the use of GM
    crops as a land saving technology
  • More efficient use of external inputs and a more
    sustainable environment
  • Increasing stability of crop production to lessen
    suffering during famines due to drought,
    unfavorable weather patterns, pest infestations
    and disease epidemics
  • Economic and social benefits and alleviation of
    poverty

7
Plant Biotechnology in South Africa(New audit to
be done 2003)
  • RD for over 20 years.
  • Plant trials for 12 years (using existing
    policy).
  • GMO Act implemented in 1999.
  • National Biotechnology Strategy 2001
  • 5 commercial approvals by end 2002.
  • About 110 plant biotech groups (academic and
    research).
  • Over 160 plant biotech projects.
  • About 45 companies using biotechnology in food,
    feed and fibre.
  • Public not informed

8
National Biotechnology Strategy (Guides
priorities)
  • To inform government and other role players
    about the steps that need to be taken for
    biotechnology to have a positive socio-economic
    impact in South Africa.

9
Implementation Framework(Overcoming barriers)
DST
  • Biotechnology Regional Innovation Centers
    (BRICs)
  • BioPad
  • EcoBio
  • Cape Biotech Initiatives (CBI)
  • National Bioinformatics Facility
  • NACI Biotechnology Advisory Committee
  • NACI Bioethics Committee
  • Special Biotechnology Studies/Investigations
  • Legislative Regulatory actions
  • Public Understanding of Biotechnology - FEST
  • Biological Resource Organisations Network
    (Biodiversity)

10
BRICs Biotechnology Programmes
11
National Biotechnology Roadmaps 5-10 year
strategic commitments
  • Research strategy for building technology
    platforms in the
  • following areas
  • Human Health
  • Plant Improvement and Development of Novel
    Products in Plants
  • Animal Health and Animal Production 
  • Biotechnology in Industrial Processes, Mining and
    Environmental Applications
  • New biotechnology platform/clusters  
  • Human resource development strategy
  • Infrastructure investment strategy
  • Inform other structures (e.g. BRICS, new
    agricultural priorities)

12
South African GM crop acreage 2003
13
GMO Permits applied for and issued from 1999-2002
14
Control Measures on GMOs
  • GMO Act
  • National Environmental Management Act
  • Biodiversity Bill (draft)
  • National Biotechnology Strategy
  • Regulations on Labeling (draft)
  • Convention for Biological Diversity
  • Cartagena Protocol on Biodiversity (2003)
  • International treaty on plant Genetic Resources
    (FAO)

15
Executive Council(Harmonization at national
level)
  • Dept of Agriculture
  • Dept of Health
  • Dept of Environment Affairs and Tourism
  • Dept of Science and Technology
  • Dept of Trade and Industry
  • Dept of Labor
  • Dept of Agriculture Registrars Office

16
Safety checks(Communicate the safety checks)
17
Conclusion
  • Harmonization in government department and
    structures in the face of the technology
  • Build on existing structures
  • Address funding problems

18
ThankYou
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