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‘Boost country’s plant breeding techniques’

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THE Ministry of Agriculture is yet to domesticate the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA), aimed at boosting the country’s plant breeding techniques and production of quality yields.

BY SENIOR REPORTER

Speaking at the ITPGRFA report-back workshop hosted by the Community Technology Development Organisation (CTDO) in Harare yesterday, Claid Mujaju, head of seed services in the ministry, said Zimbabwe had ratified the treaty, but was yet to domesticate it through enactment of supporting policies.

“Even though our country signed early enough, I think the delays have been coming in terms of the domestication of the treaty,” Mujaju said.

ITPGRFA held its fifth session in Muscat, Oman, in September this year. The treaty promotes conservation and sustainable use of plant generic resources for food and agriculture as well as for fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from their use.

CTDO, in a statement, urged government to quickly domesticate the treaty.

“Plant generic resources for food and agriculture are important for food and breeding purposes. Crop breeding is carried out through farmer selection, conventional plant breeding and use of modern biotechnology techniques,” CTDO said.

“Countries throughout the world depend on the plant genetic resources developed in other countries or regions over a long period of time. Thus there is interdependence on plant genetic resources throughout the world and this ITPGRFA has since acquired some economic and social importance.”

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