A One CGIAR initiative to unlock the potential of gene editing for agriculture
Experts from public, private and non-profit research sectors emphasized the importance of working together, the need for supportive regulations and increased technical capabilities to enable a One CGIAR to use Gene Editing for exponential crop improvement to meet its 2030 goals. These views were voiced during the opening session of a five-part global webinar series that began last week.
Setting the context for the session and the series itself, Dr Jacqueline Hughes, Director General, ICRISAT, in her opening remarks, recounted the beginnings of gene editing in crops and underscored the immense untapped potential of the technology by referring to what has been accomplished as the tip of what is possible with gene editing.
Dr Hughes also drew attention to differences across the globe in regulation of gene editing technologies and the need for creating societal acceptance. “There is no internationally agreed regulatory framework for gene editing. It is going to be very hard to make an impact with such a fragmented approach. We need science based predictable proportional regulations with clear timelines to encourage innovations in food and agricultural systems. The societal concerns stem in part from lack of understanding of gene editing principles and application,” she said.