This summarises an electronic conference moderated by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization on agricultural biotechnology research and the needs of developing countries. The conference considered a number of questions that are detailed in a related background document.
The key conclusions were:
- The agricultural research agenda of developing countries should be based on a "bottom-up" approach defined by the needs of domestic communities in those countries.
- Agricultural biotechnology research should complement research on conventional technologies. Participants agreed that it is important to allocate resources to non-GMO biotechnology research in developing countries, but opinions diverged about using scarce research resources for GMO research.
- Research collaborations, both within and between countries, are fundamental to science in developing countries, but public-private sector collaborations should be treated with caution to ensure that research geared to the needs of the poor is not ignored.