A Seminar on Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops in 2010 was recently conducted by IndoBIC in collaboration with The Indonesian Agency for Agricultural Research and Development (IAARD), Indonesian Society for Agricultural Biotechnology (PBPI), and supported by The South-East Asian Regional Centre for Tropical Biology (SEAMEO BIOTROP), Croplife Indonesia and International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA).
The seminar was held on 14 March 2011 at Auditorium, Office of Ministry of Agriculture, Jakarta. The event was attended by 105 participants consisting of scientists, academicians, students, policy makers, farmers, journalists, agro-businessmen, and also general public. Dr. Clive James, Founder & Chairman of ISAAA also actively participated in this seminar to discuss “Global Perspective of Biotech/GM Crops: 2010, the 15th Anniversary of Commercialization”. He noted that “Accumulated hectarage from 1996 to 2010 exceeded 1 billion hectares (equivalent to the total vast area of USA or China), clearly signifying that biotech crops are here to stay. A record 87-fold increase in hectarage between 1996 and 2010, which makes biotech crops the fastest adopted crop technology in the history of modern agriculture. Furthermore he said that the number of countries planting biotech crops soared to a record 29, up from 25 in 2009 – for the first time, the top 10 countries each grew >1 million hectares. More than half the world’s population, 59% or ~4 billion people, live in the 29 countries planting biotech crops.”
Meanwhile, Vice-Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Ir. Bayu Krisnamurthi, in his opening remarks said that Indonesia needs a new technological breakthrough. Since the green revolution there has been no new technological breakthroughs and biotechnology seems to be promising as similar to Argentina, wherein 100 percent of its food already using GMO technology. Furthermore he added the Indonesian government fully supported plant biotechnology or genetic engineering (Genetically Modified Organisms) to be developed in Indonesia to meet domestic food needs, since approximately 80-90 percent of Indonesian soybean are GMOs. (DS)