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Launched in 2003, AGORA provides free or subsidised journal access to not-for-profit institutions in eligible countries. Once details are finalised, all institutions in countries with a GNP per capita under US$1,000 will be given access to participating literature. The journal collection focuses on agriculture and related sciences, and includes titles from major publishing houses. AGORA is an FAO initiative. Click here for more details about registering.
ABSF aims to create an enabling environment in which Africa can participate and benefit from biotechnology in a responsible and sustainable manner. The association — through the dissemination of information — aims to enhance an understanding and awareness of all aspects of biotechnology including bio-safety and intellectual property rights. The news and features section mostly contains short information and opinion pieces giving perspectives of scientists and policy-makers in Africa.
Africa Harvest — founded by Kenyan scientist Florence Wambugu — supports policy development and scientific and institutional capacity building across East Africa and promotes the use of modern biotechnologies to help the region's farmers. The foundation's flagship project uses tissue culture technology to reproduce disease-free banana plants for distribution across East Africa.
It also runs a communication and advocacy programme to promote public acceptance of biotechnologies — especially genetic modification. The organisation publishes information about its tree-planting programme in Kenya and links to other African and international organisations working in biotechnology.
The African Journal of Biotechnology is a peer-reviewed online journal that publishes research in food, agricultural and industrial applications of biochemistry, microbiology, genomics and proteomics.
All articles are free to access and readers can also sign up to free email alerts containing the table of contents for each new issue.
AMCOST provides a forum for formulating and implementing policies for science, technology and innovation issues that have an impact on African development. It was established by the New Partnership for Africa’s Development and the African Union in November 2003, and has since developed and adopted Africa’s Science and Technology Consolidated Plan of Action.
AMCOST's website outlines ongoing projects in biodiversity, energy, water, material sciences, mathematics and space science technologies, among others. It also offers information on the activities and rationale behind both the African Panel on Biotechnology and the African Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators Initiative.
AMMANET promotes using genetic marker-assisted selection (MAS) technologies to accelerate African plant breeding efforts and deliver food security and economic growth. Over 100 African scientists established the network in 2003, with support from the Rockefeller Foundation.
The network brings regional and international agricultural researchers together, publishing information about its activities and providing contact information of all its members. It also links to news, scientific articles and other useful resources on MAS.
AfricanCrops.Net — funded by the Rockefeller Foundations Biotechnology, Breeding and Seed Systems Programme and the Partnership to Fight Striga of the African Agricultural Technology Foundation — publishes a monthly newsletter with information on upcoming conferences, training programmes and funding opportunities. It also hosts a discussion forum where visitors can share experiences of issues such as crop improvement and molecular marker applications.
The website links to a wide range of documents and points to resources dedicated to specific African crops such as cassava, cowpea and sorghum. It also hosts an extensive collection of links to online databases, glossaries, bibliographies, search engines, genetic maps and statistics relating to African-focused biotechnology and plant breeding research.
AgBiotechNet — published by CABI, a leading international, not-for-profit publisher in applied life sciences — has news, reviews, abstracts of scientific literature, and links about agricultural biotechnology and biosafety for researchers and policy-makers worldwide. While much is available free of charge, paying subscribers access more information (a free 30-day trial is available).
AgBioWorld brings information about technological advances in agriculture to the developing world. Members include scientists, physicians, professors and others who believe that recent developments in plant science — such as biotechnology — can and should be used to increase crop yields, grow more nutritious plants and reduce dependence on chemicals in order to alleviate hunger and help preserve the environment. AgBioWorld is used by many scientists, but is also relevant to teachers, journalists and the general public. The site is kept fairly up-to-date — comments and reports are usually added in response to significant events, and there is also a discussion group
The network is in collaboration with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the African Biotechnology Stakeholders Forum (ABSF), and aims to supply information on biotechnology. By connecting researchers, breeders, farmers, entrepreneurs, journalists, policy makers and donors, ABNETA supports those wanting to develop, discuss or use biotechnology.
Founded in 1995, BIOTHAI raises awareness of the links between biodiversity and local livelihoods among policymakers and the general public. BIOTHAI is now a member of the Thai National Biosafety Committee and Plant Varieties Protection Board and advises the government on national biodiversity policy. The organisation campaigns on issues surrounding biotechnology and genetically modified organisms in South-East Asia. Its website links to related news, articles, reports and public statements, from a variety of online sources.
The BioSafe Train project is an international collaboration of scientists aiming to build capacity for dealing with the challenges associated with implementing genetically modified (GM) crops in East Africa.
It publishes information on students' research projects that cover topics such as the environmental impacts of GM maize in Kenya, biodiversity in cotton fields in Uganda and the ecological risks posed by transgenic rice in Tanzania.
BioSafe Train also publishes a regular newsletter, issues press releases, links to partner institutions and related organisations, and highlights meetings and events.
The Biosafety Information Centre, managed by Third World Network
, disseminates information, raises awareness and promotes research in biosafety, sustainable agriculture, indigenous knowledge and rights. It circulates regular electronic newsletters aimed at policymakers, regulators, scientists and civil society organisations in developing countries. It also publishes contributions by active researchers and reproduces articles from external media.
A service of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), BINAS monitors global developments in regulatory issues in biotechnology. The website contains up-to-date news information and a searchable database giving details of regulations, field trials and commercialisation of GM crops in different countries.
FAO-BioDeC is a database of agricultural biotechnologies being researched, developed or applied in developing countries. It does not provide quantitative information on research being carried out in international centres located in developing countries, or on the level of funding any individual technology receives. But it does give an overview of the stages of adoption of agricultural technologies in different regions that can be used to identify gaps in research or areas for potential collaboration.
Over 50 correspondents from 54 countries contribute to the database, with articles about individual countries' policy frameworks, research institutes and biosafety regulations.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation's (FAO) website is very extensive and well-maintained, with a wealth of background information, as well as regularly updated news items which focus on FAO's work and the work of its partners. It also runs a series of electronic conferences
that aim to allow a wide range of parties, including governmental and non-governmental organisations, policy makers and the general public, to discuss and exchange views and experiences about specific issues concerning biotechnology in food and agriculture for developing countries.
The BIC website hopes to provide rational information about the applications of biotechnology, especially crop biotechnology, in a local context. The website is the result of a collaboration between ISAAA, Monash University Malaysia and the Malaysian Biotechnology Information Centre. The website aims to serve as a resource for policy-makers, industry players, the media and members of the public who want scientific information to guide their decision-making. The site is kept very up-to-date and brings together many useful web-based information sources.
Biotechterms.org, sponsored by Monsanto, is a searchable list of biotechnology definitions. The site covers technical, business and legal terms from biotechnology and related definitions from biology, biochemistry and chemistry. The glossary has been gathered from experts in the field, books, journals and industry periodicals. Terms are explained in simple language, using a lot of analogies throughout the text.
BioWatch South Africa is a nongovernmental organisation based in Cape Town founded in 1997 to 'publicise, monitor and research issues of genetic engineering and promote biological diversity and sustainable livelihoods'. It publishes a monthly newsletter, occasional policy briefings and information booklets on genetically modified crops. A library of images, free to reproduce for educational purposes, is also available.
The CGVLibrary — run by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) — is a search engine for agricultural information. It has an easy-to-use interface for accessing documents and abstracts in all of the CGIAR centres' libraries, as well as 160 other databases. Subscribers also have access to an image library.