Collaborative Agricultural Biotechnology Initiative (CABIO)

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Collaborative Agricultural Biotechnology Initiative (CABIO) is an initiative supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to "help developing countries access and manage the tools of modern biotechnology as part of an integrated drive to improve agricultural productivity, environmental sustainability and nutrition."[1] First announced in June 2002, the initiative promotes genetically modified organisms and other forms of biotechnology in Africa, Asia and Near East, and Latin America and the Caribbean.

CABIO includes three global programs:[1]

  • Agricultural Biotechnology Support Project (ABSP) II: "This U.S. university-led effort will bring together a consortium of partners from U.S. public and private sectors, international research institutions, and developing countries for collaborative technology development and scientific training. Broader institutional development will address managing IPR [intellectual property rights] and biosafety issues to support local use and commercialization."
  • Program for Biosafety Systems (PBS): "This will create the infrastructure developing countries need to use biotechnology safely, building policies and capacity for science-based regulations and examining biosafety in the broader context of economics, environment, science, and trade issues."
  • Biofortified Crops to Combat Micronutrient Deficiency: "This joint program of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) and U.S. and other international universities addresses micronutrient malnutrition by raising Vitamin A, iron and zinc content in crops. It employs traditional breeding and nutrition analysis and education, along with biotechnology tools."

Additionally, within Africa, CABIO and USAID will support biosafety training and work on setting the research agenda for African agricultural research organizations. In the latter effort, USAID is working with the Rockefeller Foundation to support the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF).

As of 2004-2005USAID lists CABIO's accomplishments as:

"Through the CABIO Initiative, a memorandum of agreement on biotechnology cooperation was signed with the Government of India. Activities also helped to develop the AATF partnership, which will leverage private sector engagement in providing agricultural technology and know-how to smallholder farmers in Africa. USAID partnerships with African organizations such as the Forum on Agricultural Research in Africa and the governments of Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria were strengthened to build a common vision

of integrating biotechnology into African development."[2]

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