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A National Workshop on Biotechnology and Development Concerns in Nepal was successfully held on 21st August 2009 jointly organized by Biotechnology Society of Nepal (BSN), South Asia Watch on Trade, Economics & Environment (SAWTEE) and Local Initiatives for Biodiversity, Research and Development (LI-BIRD). The workshop held at Hotel Everest, Kathmandu was enthusiastically attended by sixty participants representing different sectors of biology, academic bodies, government and non-government bodies, and private organizations.

The objective of the workshop was to introduce the prospective of biotechnology in different fields like agriculture, food, health, biopharmaceuticals and biological production in Nepal. The program also focused on, intellectual property rights, technology transfer, community rights, and farmers’ participation in agricultural biotechnology and also on understanding the policy and strategies related to biotechnology.

The workshop was divided into four sessions with different themes. In the inaugural session, Mr. Puspa Sharma (Program coordinator, SAWTEE) delivered his welcome speech and presented highlights of the program. Dr. Posh Raj Pandey (President, SAWTEE) who chaired the program, defined biotechnology as technology for human welfare. He opined that in country like Nepal acquiring known technology is better than hunting for a new one. Mr. Tara Lama (Program Director, LI-BIRD) advocated on access to benefit sharing by related community. Likewise, Prof. Dr. Hom Nath Bhattarai (Vice chancellor, NAST) said good policies should be introduced and implemented for the success in Nepalese scientific field. He highlighted some of the constraints of Nepal government in adopting new technologies. Dr. Puskar Bajracharya (Hon’ble member, National Planning Commission) emphasized that biotechnology can decrease trade deficit Nepal has been facing. Concluding remarks of the session and vote of thanks was delivered by Mr. Ravi Bhandari (Vice-President, BSN).

In the following sessions, presentations on introduction to biotechnology and recombinant DNA technology were delivered by BSN team and Dr. Arti Pandey from Kathmandu Medical College respectively. The status of biotechnology in Nepal, research works carried out in different sectors such as agriculture, livestock and biological production, food technology and biopharmaceuticals was delivered by Dr. Hari P.Bimb (NARC), Dr. Sudarson Pd Gautam (CBPL), Dr. Tika Bdr. Karki (Kathmandu University) and Dr. Pramod Aryal (Everest Biotech) respectively. Dr. Mukunda Ranjit, Professor Dr. VP Agrawal and Dr. Hari Krishna Sainju highlighted different prospects of biotechnology as chair-persons. Discussions were held on different constraints Nepal has been facing and measures to be taken for active progression in the field of biotechnology. Overall program was focused on measures to be taken to adopt agricultural biotechnology as a farmer friendly and environment friendly technologies.

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