PLANT B+B OBJECTIVES
The PlantB+B network advocates for the advanced breeding of key crops (e.g. cassava, banana, potato, maize, legumes) with the objective of supporting research for development (R4D) and international breeding programs for fast-tracking the release of new crop varieties that can be more nutritious and better adapted to (a)biotic threats.
An expected outcome of this network is the development ofa fruitful North-South partnership to work towards improving crops’ productivity and food securitythat can act as a reference knowledge-hub for academia, research institutions, policymakers and biosafety authorities. Therefore, thePlant B&B has been conceivedas a multi-stakeholder and interdisciplinary network with expertise across four different continents.
“Plant Biotechnology and Breeding(Plant B+B)” is a network established to foster and contribute to the advancement of global scientific knowledge and unite international institutions’ expertise.
Our platform is composed by biotechnologists, geneticists, bioinformaticians, breeders, economists, journalists, experts on bio-regulatory affairs, and philosophers. Plant B+B intends to unite human capacity, expertise and resources for education, research and outreach in the field of plant biotechnology and breeding. The Plant B+B network will work towards
- Stimulating dialogue and knowledge exchange regarding the most recent biotechnology developments, molecular innovations and breeding tools among our partners and policymakers;
- Strengthening the scientific and technical capabilities of our partners and diverse stakeholders;
- Increasing awareness among stakeholders and policymakers about the use of biotechnology and advanced breeding-tools for developing innovations to achieve sustainable agricultural models.
Through the interactions that shall emerge, the Plant B&B partners will actively approach the international community of donors to develop joint research and educational projects.;These will sustain activities in the future to transform this consortium into a global excellence network for the advancement of plant biotechnology and breeding. The consortium will evolve into a functional network coordinating and sharing human and physical state-of-the-art resources to support plant biotechnology and breeding.
Food and agriculture lie at the heart of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development aimed at ending poverty and hunger, while ensuring responsible production and consumption in the coming years. The need to increase food production is more crucial than ever. To ensure food security, agricultural productivity in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) needs to increase more than double in the next two decades.
To deliver quality food for all and preserve the agroecosystems, agricultural systems will have to shift and sustainably intensify. Plant breeding and plant biotechnology are the key to steer agriculture amidst climate change and to reduce environmental impacts of crop production. Advanced molecular breeding tools have been successfully used to develop resource-efficient varieties that are more productive even under sub-optimal conditions. Nonetheless, the global rate of adoption of some biotechnology advances for crop breeding, such as genetic transformation or gene editing, has been heterogeneously adopted across countries and continents. Often, genetically optimized crops (GOC) have been perceived with skepticism by consumers and other stakeholders in the bioeconomy, and have triggered a debate revolving societal impact that, possibly, has not yet been sufficiently (rationally) discussed amongst scientists, farmers, policymakers, developmental experts and the general public.
WC1: Education for strengthening scientific and technical capacity of partners
Scientific and technical refresher courses.
Joint educational projects.
WC 2: Research for global advancement of plant biotechnology
Organize joint development of project proposals
Short-term exchange of staff and scientists
Support scientific fora and international events
WC 3: Service to society to promote the benefits of innovation-based agriculture
Developing policy briefs and fact sheets series
Organization & participation in scientific events, workshops on science communication
Elaboration of articles, opinion papers, press notes, etc.