SOFIA, OCTOBER 25, ARTSAKHPRESS.BTA. Agriculture Minister Kiril Vatev Thursday opened a conference in Sofia on new genomic techniques and the future of modern agriculture. The forum is organized jointly by the Bulgarian Seed Industry Association and the European seed industry association Euroseeds.
Creating new varieties and breeds resistant to biotic and abiotic environmental factors, with preserved or improved productivity, is key for the transition to sustainable agricultural production and ensuring food security, Vatev said.
He noted that a priority for the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union is to adopt EU legislation on new genomic techniques within the framework of Spain’s term and that the forum’s topic is in line with that. Climate, environmental, economic, and political challenges facing modern agriculture are forcing its transition from intensive to sustainable production, Vatev added.
He highlighted that in this context, on July 5, 2023, the European Commission presented a package of legislative measures for the sustainable use of key natural resources, one of them being a draft regulation on plants derived from certain new genomic techniques.
The contribution of new genomic techniques may be decisive in this respect, because their precision and efficiency in introducing modifications into the genome are far superior to conventional selection and existing transgenic engineering, while the resulting breeding form is in some cases identical to those that arise spontaneously in nature or to the products of traditional breeding. For this reason, new genomic techniques are already being successfully applied outside the European Union. The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations has included new genomic techniques in its innovation strategy, Vatev noted.
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