Inaugural statement

Inaugural statement

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful
Statement by Dr. Khayam Nekouei, Vice Minister of Agricultural Jahad, Director General of AREEO


I am pleased that AREEO, as a representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran, hosts the 2nd Expert Group Meeting on ECO Agricultural Bio-technology Network.

I thank Mr. Gurkan Polat, Director of Agriculture and Industry, ECO Secretariat and All Member States.

The increase in human population worldwide has become a major threat to food security. Population growth, particularly in countries with developing economies, will result in the need for a 70% increase in food production by the year 2050, making the significant enhancement of agricultural productivity in the next several decades a priority. In this respect, efforts of biotechnology have been concentrated on creating technologies which could increase crop yields. Despite the great biotechnological advances in agricultural production achieved over the past 50 years, efforts to reduce poverty and inequality using biotechnology should continue.

The agricultural sector in the region faced different major problems, including low input efficiency, abiotic and biotic stresses, and huge agricultural wastes causing significant negative impacts on total agricultural commodity production and the environment of the region. Unfortunately, conventional strategies are not enough to overcome these kinds of problems. Hence, application of modern biotechnological strategies is necessary to enhance food production for growing demand and to ensure food security in the region. Fortunately, agricultural biotechnology is currently being developed in the ECO member states as well, but the speed of this progress should be increased with the cooperation of ECO member countries.

Take it into consideration that the majority of ECO member states are considered as the center of origin and center of diversity of many as well as aromatic, medicinal and ornamental plants. Furthermore, the ECO region enjoys a high level of diversity in fish, animals and microorganisms which are of vital importance for food security and sustainable development.

Considering the scientific and economic opportunities available in the ECO member countries, it is suggested that the ECO agricultural biotechnology network focus on the use of expert human resources, Transfer of experiences and technical knowledge and information sharing, biosafety validation and risk management analysis of biotechnology products. Harmonizing biosafety regulations in the member countries for safe trade of these kinds of commodities is another important issue that should be discussed.

I hope that the 2nd Expert Group Meeting on ECO Agricultural Bio-technology Network will reach the planned goals and be able to take an effective step in the scientific and economic development of the ECO region.








In the name of Allah (SWT)

Statement by Dr. Mardi, Director General, ABRII

Distinguished delegates,

Dear participants,

Assalamu Alaikum and Good morning everyone.

I am Dr. Mohsen Mardi, the Director General of the Agricultural Biotechnology Research Institute of Iran, (ABRII).

On behalf of the ECO Secretariat and Agricultural Biotechnology Research Institute of Iran (ABRII), I very pleased to warmly welcome each and every one of you,especially respected representatives and National Focal Points for Agricultural Biotechnology from all the ECO Member Statesto the 2nd Expert Group Meeting of the ECO-ABN.We do hope that you will find this meeting of interest and that you will take full advantage of this networking opportunity with other members.

ABRII is a governmental research institute under the umbrella of the Agricultural Research, Education, and Extension Organization (AREEO), which was established in 2000 to develop new agricultural technologies,overcome main agricultural problems, conserve natural resources and ecosystems, supply the country's food security, improve food safety, and promote self-sufficiency in agricultural products using new biotechnology tools.It soon became one of the most influential research institutes in Iran. Our vision is to be "an innovative, efficient, and effective research institute in the development and application of modern technologies in agricultural sector". Hence, we are following an impactful and target-oriented approach and developing open innovation platformsto achieve this goal. In addition, we established a network with different stockholders as well as public and private partnerships.

Here, I would like to announce that we are ready to share our experiences and knowledge with all ECO member states. We strongly support joint research projects and technological activities. Moreover, we will organizerelated international workshops and conferences in collaboration with the ECO countries for training and capacity building in the region.

I would like to emphasis that there is no limitation for joint collaboration with ABRII. The doors of ABRII are always open to our esteemed colleagues, researchers, scholars and graduate students from all the ECO member states. Together we can achieve synergetic solutions to the main agricultural challenges in the region using moder biotechnology tools.

To achieve this goal, generous contribution of all member states and their respective representatives is important to ensure our sustained success and growth.

We hope that this event will be a gratifying one to all of you.

Thanks everyone for joining us today at this prestigious event.