Agricultural Biotechnology Support Project (ABSP) II

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Agricultural Biotechnology Support Project (ABSP) II is a USAID-funded program that is coordinated by Cornell University.

"USAID solicited applications for a follow-on [to ABSP I], US15 million ABSP II project in March 2002 that was awarded to a consortium led by Cornell University in late 2002."[1]
"This assistance enables USAID to build upon a foundation of more than ten years of USAID experience in utilizing the tools of modern biotechnology to develop new crop varieties and livestock vaccines and in defining pathways for making these tools available to developing countries through both public and private sector avenues. The tools of biotechnology are used to address crop and livestock production constraints, to increase the environmental sustainability of agriculture, and to improve nutrition. ABSP II also addresses policy issues, particularly in intellectual property rights (IPR), at institutional and national levels. Communication and outreach activities on biotechnology are an integral part of this project.
"The Agricultural Biotechnology Support Project (ABSP II), a university-led Leader with Associate (LWA) cooperative agreement, funds technology development through public-private sector collaboration and builds scientific capacity among developing country researchers."[2]

As of 2006, the account manager of ABSP II at USAID was Bhavani Pathak.[2]

Funding

According to a 2006 USAID document, ABSP II was funded by USAID up to $15,284,000.[2]

Projects

Projects ABSP II partners are working on as of 2012 include:[3][4]

However, as of 2012, funding has been discontinued for:[4]

  • Multiple Virus Resistant Tomato in Indonesia, Philippines[10]
  • Tomato Virus Resistance for West Africa in Mali[11]
  • Tobacco Streak Virus Resistant Groundnut in India[12]

Previously, the ABSP website also said it was working on Roundup-Ready, Bt Cotton in Uganda.[13]

Training on Commercialization of GMOs

One activity of ABSP II is training "collaborators" around the world on commercializing GMOs. One such workshop focusing on commercialization of biotechnology crops in Asia took place from June 19-23, 2006 in the Philippines. "The workshop aimed to provide in-depth information on the commercialization process of biotech crops from lab to field."[14] ABSP II collaborators Drs. Josefina Narciso, from the Institute of Plant Breeding, University of the Philippines Los Baños; Saptowo J. Pardal from ICABIOGRAD in Indonesia; and Karnan of Sathguru Management Consultant in India attended the workshop along with participants from 30 others from around the world. The training was organized by facilitated by Dr. Andrew D. Powell, CEO of Asia BioBusiness and Prof. Paul Teng of the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, both in Singapore, and organized their organizations along with the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA).[14]

"Using a combination of lectures, case studies, exercises, and field visits, the workshop discussed topics such as: requirements for the commercialization of biotech crops; regulatory process of Philippines and India; requirements and the importance of regulatory compliance; the Philippine experience on the commercialization of biotech crop i.e. Bt corn MON 810, and soon to be commercialized crops, PRSV papaya and FSBR eggplant; risk communication; and the different IP [intellectual property] and licensing agreement involved in the commercialization of biotech crops."[14]

Training on Environmental Biosafety Issues

Another area of training is on "environmental biosafety issues" associated with GMOs. One such course was held at Michigan State University from July 30-August 4, 2006. Researchers from ABSP II partners in Southeast Asia and Africa attended the course.[14] Attendees included Lourdes Taylo and Filomena Sta Cruz (Philippines), Sri Hensdrastuti Hidyat (Indonesia), Eric Danquah and Samuel Timpo (Ghana), Andrew Kiggundu, Geofrey Arinaitwe and Barbara Zawedde (Uganda).

"The course provided an introduction to environmental safety issues associated with transgenic crops; case studies of environmental safety, overview of international treaties, and regulations on biosafety; as well as strategies for capacity building and regional/ international cooperation in biosafety. This enabled participants to appreciate the important role of scientists involved in the development of biotech crops, particularly in identifying the important regulatory issues in biosafety that need to be addressed before and during the conduct of contained/confined field trials as well as associated risk communication strategies.
"Faculty from MSU, West Michigan University and University of Guelph along with experts from the US Department of Agriculture shared information and facilitated the trainees identification of possible risks and the corresponding management solutions. A dialogue with farmers about their experiences in growing biotech soybean and corn provided an end-user perspective of using biotech crops."[14]

Consortium Partners

"Funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and led by Cornell University, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences International Programs, ABSPII is implemented by a consortium of public and private institutions."[15]

US Public Institutions

National and Regional Partners

Private Sector Entities

CGIAR Center and Other International Institutions

NGOs and Foundations

Networks

Management Team and Advisors

Contact Information

  • Agricultural Biotechnology Support Project II
  • International Programs
  • 213 Rice Hall
  • Cornell University
  • Ithaca, New York 14853
  • USA
  • Ph: 607-255-6357
  • Fax: 607-255-8186
  • Email: absp2@cornell.edu
  • Web: http://www.absp2.cornell.edu/

Articles and Resources

Related SourceWatch Articles

References

  1. Robert Eugene Evenson, Vittorio Santaniello, The Regulation of Agricultural Biotechnology, CABI, 2004, p. 129.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 EGAT Guide to Technical Services 2006, Accessed October 21, 2011.
  3. Projects, Accessed October 13, 2011.
  4. 4.0 4.1 The Agricultural Biotechnology Support Project (ABSPII) Product Summaries, June 2012.
  5. FRUIT AND SHOOT BORER RESISTANT (FSBR) EGGPLANT, Accessed October 13, 2011.
  6. EAST AFRICAN HIGHLAND (EAH) BANANA RESISTANT TO BLACK SIGATOKA AND NEMATODES, Accessed October 13, 2011.
  7. PAPAYA RINGSPOT VIRUS RESISTANT (PRSVR) PAPAYA, Accessed October 13, 2011.
  8. LATE BLIGHT RESISTANT (LBR) POTATO, Accessed October 13, 2011.
  9. DROUGHT AND SALINITY TOLERANT (DST) RICE, Accessed October 13, 2011.
  10. MULTIPLE VIRUS RESISTANT (MVR) TOMATO, Accessed October 13, 2011.
  11. TOMATO VIRUS RESISTANCE FOR WEST AFRICA, Accessed October 13, 2011.
  12. TOBACCO STREAK VIRUS RESISTANT (TSVR) GROUNDNUT, Accessed October 13, 2011.
  13. BIOTECH COTTON TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER PROJECT FOR UGANDA, Accessed October 13, 2011.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 Newsletter of the Agricultural Biotechnology Support Project II, Vol. II, No. 4, October 2006.
  15. Consortium Partners, Accessed September 5, 2011.
  16. The Team, Accessed September 5, 2011.

External Resources

External Articles