Table 6. Status of Biotechnology in some advancing and and advanced developing countries.

Country Features Remarks Reference


Rhizobium Culture Collection at FEPAGRO/UFRGS MIRCEN laboratories functions as safety depositary


▪ Sugarcane EST Genome Project (SUCEST) schedule to end 2004, identifying around 50,000 genes networking with 38 Brazilian research institutions and Co-opersuccar

▪ Production of growth hormone in Brazilian corn –joint venture with universities of Campinas and Sao Paulo

▪ Development of (1) Papaya resistant to local strain of ring-spot virus, and (2) common beans resistant to golden mosaic virus

▪ Development of national competence and capacity in intellectual property rights (IPRs)

Karanja et al (2000)

FAPESP Genome Program (1999)

Meidanis and Guimãres (2000)

Sampaio (2000)

Burkina Faso

▪Improvement achieved in the household food security situation in the country in 1990 in comparison to that of the mid-1970s following political commitment

▪Development of mix of policy protocols concerning-soil conservation and water use



▪ Use of modern molecular technologies for varied biotech uses

▪ Development and use of the Desert Film Linen Technique (DFLT) with young rice plants in the Badanjlin Desert; technique under test by UNDP as preventive tool in arresting desertification

▪ National Committee monitors field testing of GMO crops

▪ Large-scale use of Blue-Green Algal fertilisers to obtain 7% rice yields increase and 30% decrease in use of chemical products

▪Production in 2000 of super rice hybrid   Liang You Pei Jin

▪ Increase food production and improve product quality through clean technology use

▪ Development of national competence and capacity in IPRs

▪ More extensive use of genomics in agriculture


Zhang (2000)


▪Biotech enterprises BiosChile,  Biogenetics, Bioforest and Biosonda have national and international profiles that focus on

- micropropagation of fruits and plant ornamentals

- production of diagnostic kits and vaccines for human and animal use

-research in genetic improvement if forest resources and pest and disease control 

▪ Development of knowledge-rich biotech base and biotech services responding to Chile and Latinamerican markets in Argentina, Colombia and Peru

▪ Development of national competence and capacity in biosafety policies and IPRs

(Nef, 1998);

Gil et al (2001)

Costa Rica

▪ National System of Conservation Areas

▪ Bioprospecting Program of National Biodiversity Institute (INBio)

▪ Rice Biotechnology Programme aiming at elimination of constraints in crop improvement and production

▪ Bioprospecting for bacterial genes for use in rice genomics

▪ Development of transgenic products

▪ Expansion of bioprospecting activities covering bioresources and gene pools

▪ Development of knowledge-rich biotech base

▪ Development of national competence and capacity in biosafety policies and IPRs

Sittenfeld et al (2000)


▪ AGERI established in 1990 to bridge food gap and achieve self-reliance

▪ Success in development of transgenic potato, maize, faba beans, and tomato crops

▪ Development of knowledge-rich biotech base

▪ Development of national competence and capacity in biosafety policies and IPRs

Madkour (2000)


•Establishment of:

-National Biotechnology Board -1982

-Department of Biotechnology (DBT)- 1986 in Ministry of Science and Technology

-Micropropagation Technology Parks (New Delhi, Pune) for development of  plant tissue culture industry

-National Bioinformatics Network with 10 nodal centres and 35 sub-nodal centres processing bioinformation 

-National Plant Genome Research Centre, Jawarharlal Nehru University

- National Brain Research Centre

-National Bioscience Career Development Awards

-E-Biotech government web-site with details on technology services and commercial opportunities

•Research and training programmes involving States of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, West Bengal, Haryana, Punjab, Jammu & Kashmir, Mizoram, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh with more than 5000 research publications, and 4000 postdoctoral students

•Expansion of university-industry co-operation; development of a recombinant vaccine for tuberculosis and hepatitis; world’s first IVF buffalo calf—Pratham, reared through embryo transfer at National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal; successful White Revolution with 80% of milk produced in small and rural farms

•Aquaculture and marine resource development

• Jai Vigyan mission with focus on development of genomic databases, vaccines, and diagnostics

•Special Awards for women scientists

•Bangalore, Delhi, and Bombay are considered to be the hotspots of biotechnology in India

•59 MS, postdoctoral and MD training programmes either in progress or approved for immediate start

Sharma (2000)

DBT (2001)


▪ 340 biotechnologists recognised in Iran; 46 institutes/centres engaged in biotechnologies

Razi Institute designated as Reference Laboratory in Diagnostics

▪ National Research Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology   established in 1988

-Covers wide range of research in biosciences, pharmacology, molecular biology, applied   microbiology

-Produces growth hormone hepatitis B vaccine

▪ Iran Research Organization for Science and Technology establishes Biotechnology Centre in 1982

▪ Active private sector

-Rana Agro-Industry Corporation produces tissue-culture date palm and banana

- Cina Gene company produces restriction enzymes, etc.

▪University-industry collaboration

▪ Expand biotech expertise and excellence through newly established Iranian Society for Biotechnology and Iran Centre of Industrial Research and Development (IcIRAD)

▪ Widen impact of ongoing co-operation of Razi Vaccine and Serum Institute, Pasteur Institute of Iran with WHO

▪ Development of national competence and capacity in biotechnologies, biosafety policies and IPR guidelines;

▪ Combating salinity problems

▪ Hosts Persian Type Culture Collection

▪ Production of uniform and disease-free date-palm plants, cherry apple, bananas and sugarcane at the Agricultural Biotechnology Research Institute of Iran 

▪ Pilot project (of Radha Co. and Tarbiat Modarres University) on bioleaching of copper from sulphide ores to industrial scale by 2002

▪ Ministry of Mines and Metals project with Pharmacy Faculty, Teheran Medical school on recovery of gold and desulfurization of coal into university-industry joint ventures

Ghareyazi (2000)

Shojaosadati (2000)


▪ Academic sector provides for R&D in various fields: natural products biotechnology; immunodiagnostics; bioreactor technology for production of bioenergy and biofuels; embryo transfer in animals; applied microbiology, BNF technology

▪ Active R&D industrial activities in immunobiologicals, tissue culture and developing of appropriate laboratory equipment

▪ Develop academic competence and excellence for university-industry ventures in tissue culture ornamentals and products; monoclonal antibodies, single-cell-protein, enzyme production; molecular modelling; molecular genetics

▪ Establishment of a national biotechnological centre to drive and sustain on-going national efforts in diverse biotechnologies

Ajlouni and Malkawi (2000)


▪ MIRCEN builds on pioneering work in use of legume inoculants, and in market penetration in East Africa

▪ Use of tissue culture with banana, cassava, potato, and sugarcane crops

▪ Promotion of university-industry joint ventures

▪ Development of knowledge-rich biotech base

▪ Quality control of nationally used legume inoculants ensured by MIRCEN laboratories

▪ Obtention of transgenic sweet potato resistant to feathery mottle virus

▪ Development of national competence and capacity in biosafety policies and IPRs

Ndiritu (2000)

Karanja et al (2000)


▪ Successful bioremediation of park soil in Ahmadi polluted with oil during Gulf war

▪Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR)

pioneering research in arid land biotechnology

and expanding profile as international centre of excellence in biotech research



▪ GMO crop trials begin in 1988

▪ Biosafety Committee issues monitoring guidelines for GMOs and risk assessment

▪ Development of knowledge-rich biotech base

▪ Development of national competence and capacity in biosafety policies and IPRs

Alvarez-Morales (2000)


•Establishment of:

-National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (BIOTECH) in 1980 at University of the Philippines (UP) ,Los Banos

-Three biotech centres, in 1995, in UP system at campuses in:

Diliman (industrial biotechnology)

Manila  (human health)

Visayas (marine biotechnology)

•National Research, Development and Extension Network; and

•5 discipline –oriented networks

•Deployment of biotechnology to boost agricultural productivity with minimal inputs

•Rural and public science education

programmes  to create public awareness; and attract private sector sponsors; counteract anti-biotech sentiment (GMOs); develop biosafety and IPR guidelines; engage in bio-prospecting and access to new technologies

•As of 1999, 250 top-level scientists engaged in high-level biotech R& D

•13 biobased commodities: (rice, corn, tubers, coconut, plantation crops, fibre crops, fruits/nuts, vegetables /spices, ornamentals, fisheries, aquaculture, livestock and poultry, and legumes)

fishery post-harvest and marketing; soil  and water resources; agricultural and fisheries engineering;  postharvest  food and nutrition, and social science policy and biotechnology

de la Cruz  (2000)

South Africa

▪ Well advanced activities in agricultural sector

▪ Five-fold increase in protein content of sweet potatoes

- Obtention of transgenic tobacco and cotton varieties resistant to herbicides

▪ GMO Act of 1997 controls import of GM products; protects consumer and the environment

▪ Over 600 biotechnology projects in the medical and biosafety fields

▪ Development of a national strategy in 2001, decreed by the Ministry of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology to establish a Bioethics Committee and a Biotechnology Advisory Council to monitor crop yields, production of vaccines, development of regional innovation centres and research laboratories; development of fungal resistant strawberries, maize and sorghum; insect-resistant sugarcane and virus-resistant potatoes

▪ 55 companies exist in the plant and medical biotechnologies

Njobe-Mbuli (2000)


▪ In 1991, establishment of National Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (BIOTEC) with focus on R&D in transfer of technology and capacity-building

-Establishment of National Biosafety

 Committee in 1993 to provide guidance and monitor field trial evaluations of GMO crops

- In 1995, Cassava and Starch Technology program established; Production of new variety of tapioca—Kasetsart 50

-Establishment of Rice Genome Project Thailand; conservation of high-quality fragrant rice cultivar Khao-Hom Dawk-Mali

- In 1999, establishment of Shrimp Biotechnology Program to sustain Thai shrimp farming and eradicate shrimp diseases

▪ Need to improve crop diversification and yield; and postharvest conservation

▪ Use of biotech industries: food and animal feed; rubber ; and landscape and ornamental wood materials to establish Thailand as key export centre by 2002

▪ Development of transgenic crops (papaya, pepper,) resistant to viral diseases

▪ Expansion of agricultural sector by 2.8% achieved in 1998

▪ Commercial production of Trichoderma to control Sclerotium rolfsii Sacc., and Chaetomium to control Phytophora expansion of agricultural sector by 2.8% achieved in 1998



▪ Al Jarf area --transformed desert land with large date plantation

▪ Al Ajaban area --orchard plantation: mango, guava, and date palms

▪ Ras Al-Khaimah poultry enterprise in Digdagga –vast egg production facility

▪ Mafraq wastewater facility provides irrigation waters for public gardens, parks

▪ International Centre on Biosaline Agriculture

pioneering research in saline agriculture and

electronic communications network in arid land biotechnology; developing greening of coastlines

▪Initiatives in greening of desert terrain

DaSilva (2002)


•Department of Agricultural Research and Specialist Services monitors development of hybrid maize

• Establishment of Zimbabwe Biosafety Board in 1999 and promulgation of Zimbabwe Biosafety Regulations  and  IPR guidelines

 •Introduction in 1980 of Master’s Degree in University of Zimbabwe to promote biotech science education; Zimbabwe Biotechnology Training Programme funded by Netherlands, Sweden and Rockefeller Foundation

•Establishment of Biotechnology Research Institute (BRI)

•Kutsaga Research Station oversees tobacco breeding, pathology, etc

• Capacity-building in agricultural biotechnology and biosafety programmes

•Essentially for drought-tolerant maize research

Chetsanga (2000)

Supported by UNESCO / MIRCEN network