International desk : The 7th Annual South Asia Biosafety Conference begins at The Westin Dhaka on 14 Sept 2019. The inaugural session was graced by Dr. Muhammad Abdur Razzague, MP, Honorable Minister, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of People’s Republic of Bangladesh as Chief Guest. Mr. Md. Nasiruzzaman, Respected Secretary Ministry of Agriculture, Government of People’s Republic of Bangladesh was present as Special Guest while Dr. Rob Bertram, Chief Scientist, Bureau for Food Security, United States Agency for International Development was the Guest of Honor. The program began with welcoming remarks from Dr. Vibha Ahuja, the Chief General Manager, BCIL. Later activities of SABP were highlighted by Dr Aparna Islam, Country Manager, SABP Bangladesh. Dr. Rob Bertram in his speech highlighted the benefits of a transparent, predictable and functional regulatory process for biotechnology. Dr. Muhammad Abdur Razzague, MP, Honorable Minister, Ministry of Agriculture pointed out various research and development activities in the agriculture sector to uphold the government’s pledge to make Bangladesh free of hunger and poverty. He also talked about the ongoing activities of the government to improve agriculture. Mr. Md. Nasiruzzaman, Secretary Ministry of Agriculture in his speech identified the activities of the many research institutes under NARS. The inaugural sessions ended with a vote of thanks from Dr. Andrew Roberts, Deputy Executive Director, ILSI Research Foundation.
This annual conference is the premier biosafety meeting in South Asia and provides an essential forum to hear from leading scientists representing regulatory agencies, public sector research institutions, and the private sector in South Asia and internationally. The three-days long conference is under the auspices of the South Asia Biosafety Program, the ILSI Research Foundation and Biotech Consortium India Limited with support from local and international research institutes like the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council, the Bangladesh Academy of Sciences, the Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority, CIMMYT, the International Institute for Crop Improvement, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, the International Society for Biosafety Research and the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences of India , and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) etc.
The three day-long conference will includes includes sessions on Biosafety Regulation in South Asia, Building a Community of Biosafety Practitioners, Biotechnology Research and Development in South Asia, Public Sector GE Crop Development and Deployment, Rationalizing Risk Assessment and Regulation of Low Risk Activities, as well as three workshops: Managing Fall Army Worm in South Asia, Gene Editing and Regulation, and GE Food Safety Assessment – Mutual Acceptance of Data. A poster session and “lighting round” of five-minute presentations by students and early career researchers are also part of the conference program, providing an opportunity for emerging researchers from South Asia share their work and solicit helpful feedback from a diverse audience. Experts from South Asian countries, including Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, have joined by international experts from Australia, Canada, Nigeria, the Philippines, the United Kingdom, and the United States.