In 2003, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) released the results of Next Harvest, the first collection of publicly-developed genetically modified (GM) crop biotechnology projects in developing countries. This information in now ten years old and no global update has yet been completed. The absence of current and comprehensive data and the lack of centralized sources thus constrain the ability to analyze Africa’s agricultural biotechnology capacity and to draw policy recommendations regarding Africa’s needs to self-determine its biotechnology future. IFPRI’s recent biotechnology capacity assessments in Africa and in other regions, have confirmed the need for a comprehensive, evidence-based review of biotechnology, especially for GM biotechnologies. To address the critical need for up-to-date information on GM biotechnologies, we propose the following project to provide a regional update and expansion of the Next Harvest database as follows: a) evaluate the status of selected African GM biotechnologies identified in the database and assess the R&D and innovation system issues that determine success and/or failure in transferring technologies to farmers; b) collect current detailed data on biotechnology capacity in selected countries to map actual and potential innovation opportunities, and c) conduct and in-depth analysis of the relationship between agricultural biotechnology innovative capacity and the output produced by the system. We will not conduct an assessment of the potential impact of GM biotechnologies in addressing the issues of poverty and hunger in the selected countries. We will rather focus on the ability of the GM biotechnology innovation system to produce technologies, which we hope are appropriate and valuable to users in country.
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