Resources for research, particularly budgetary, are and have always been considered less than adequate. Any future research should thus be directed towards the most relevant issues and problem areas. Hence the crucial need to periodically identify research needs priorities.
Such attempts have been made at FARC and institutional levels several times in the past.
The latest one was for the period 2003/2007, based on priorities of strategic plans for the food and agricultural sector, spelling out the broad research themes.
This is presently being fine-tuned for period 2011/2015, to be implemented if funding is available by several laboratories within different institutions, that are to constitute the National Agricultural Biotechnology Laboratory Consortium (NALC) (see Annex 1) as proxy to a single centralized laboratory, the programme to be steered and coordinated by the FARC.
It would be appropriate that the fund for Research earmarked within the Food Security Fund be integrated with the priorities of the NALC and the whole programme be singly steered and administered by the FARC as per its legislative mandate.
Annex II lists the aims and strategic goals of a national agricultural biotechnology development strategy; Annex III gives a summary of the RTD plan. Just for information is included in Annex IV which gives an indication of the funding requirements as assessed in 2007, which is obsolete nowand needs updating which will be done during the definition of a comprehensive National Agricultural Biotechnology Research, Training and Development (RTD) plan for period 2011/2015 under the aegis of FARC (the thematic areas listed in Annex V).
Annex VI lists the Consortium of Agricultural Biotechnology Laboratories and the investments incurred in capacity building during period 2008/09 and plans for 2009/2012.
Funding for the National Biotechnology/Biosafety Regulatory Framework is already secured for the period 2007/2010, from UNEP/GEF ($427,000) (with GOM contribution in-kind) following GOM approval; and the project is being administered by FARC as the National Executing Agency.