As the Coordinator of ECO Agricultural Biotechnology Network, it is a pleasure for me to introduce ECO-ABN and its goals.

     Agricultural Biotechnology involves using scientific tools and techniques in order to improve human life’s quality. This science can play an important role in determining the fate of 9 billion people who will be living on the earth in the year 2050. Therefore, it is important to apply modern biotechnological strategies to enhance food production for growing demand and to ensure food security in the member countries of ECO.

     Agricultural Biotechnology Research Institute of Iran has well-trained staff, excellent expertise, and state-of-the-art research facilities, which can play an important role in target oriented agricultural research to address the main agricultural problems in the region as well as capacity building and training in agricultural biotechnology and related sciences in the ECO region. This institute is hosting the ECO-ABN, which is submitted through the diplomatic channels to the ECO secretariat in Iran.

     The ultimate goal of the ECO-ABN is to enhance the capacity of member states in research and development of biotechnology and its application in agriculture through assisting the national agricultural researchers to apply biotechnology to meet their own national needs. We emphasize the importance of the ECO countries being able to develop their own biotechnology to suit their own particular environments through education and technology transfer. In the Experts Group Meetings (EGMs), representatives of the member countries inform each other of their research activities and try to channel the research activities in directions, which could help their scientists to plant further researches.

We look forward to collaborating with national institutions and individual scientists in the field of biotechnology within the ECO region, as well as the international organizations around the world.

Maryam Jafarkhani Kermani