Third generation North Canterbury farmer Roscoe Taggart believes that continuous innovation is vital for sustainable arable farming.
The UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) is hosting the symposium 'The Role of Agricultural Biotechnologies in Sustainable Food Systems and Nutrition' at its headquarters in Italy from February 15-17. The event will be webcast live.
The contribution of a wide spectrum of biotechnologies to sustainable food systems and nutrition will be covered. A high-level ministerial segment will take place on February 16.
The symposium focuses mainly on the broad range of biotechnologies that could result in yield increases, better nutritional qualities, improved productivities of crops, livestock, fish and trees.
These biotechnologies encompass a wide range of low-tech to high-tech approaches which can make the development of improved varieties and breeds that adapt to the effects of climate change, faster and more efficient.
The focus is on agricultural biotechnologies that are currently available and ready to use by smallholder producers, including low-tech approaches involving artificial insemination, fermentation techniques, biofertilisers etc. up to high-tech approaches involving advanced DNA-based methodologies
While the symposium encompasses genetically modified organisms (GMOs), they are not its main focus.
Students from several universities around the world will be able to participate in an online interactive session to identify and convey key messages to policy and decision makers.