Dialogue on the Nexus of Climate Smart Agriculture and Innovative Biotechnology

The Chargé d’Affaires, at the U.S. Embassy, Nathan Flook, joined Wahida Akter, Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Bangladesh at the Dialogue on the Nexus of Climate Smart Agriculture and Innovative Biotechnology. They discussed the importance of agricultural biotechnology in supporting farmers in adapting to and mitigating the effects of climate change to provide food for Bangladeshis.

On September 11, 2023, the Bangladesh Ministry of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cohosted the Dialogue on the Nexus of Climate Smart Agriculture and Innovative Biotechnology.  The dialogue explored the potential of innovative biotechnology to adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change. Throughout the three technical sessions scientists, academics, regulators, and policy makers shared the newest policies and research related to biotechnology.

The Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. of the U.S. Embassy, Nathan Flook and the Bangladesh Ministry of Agriculture, Secretary, Wahida Akter, highlighted the importance of precision biotechnology to build climate resilience in the agricultural sector during the inaugural session.  Salinity intrusion, drought, and new pests have made it harder for farmers to produce food profitably.

Chargé d’Affaires Flook underscored the importance of agricultural biotechnology as a safe tool to build resilience in agriculture and enhance global food security. He noted that, “the Biden Administration has made safeguarding and supporting biotechnology innovation a priority.”  The U.S. regulatory system uses scientific risk-based procedures to enable farmers have access to new tools as quickly as possible.

The dialogue was an opportunity to discuss how gene-editing can help farmers produce more food with fewer resources and identify what other technologies will help Bangladesh reach its climate change goals.  As members of the Agricultural Innovation Mission for Climate and the Global Methane Pledge, the United States and Bangladesh have a shared mission to support farmers’ livelihoods by being able to adapt to climate change. Biotechnology has a role to play in mitigating the impacts agricultural production has on the climate, while increasing productivity.  Chargé d’Affaires Flook emphasized that, Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to climate change.  Using biotechnology, scientists can accelerate the rate at which they can introduce new plant varieties able to respond to changing environmental conditions.  The U.S. Embassy stands ready to continue to support Bangladesh in adopting these new technologies.