In Hanoi on Mar. 4, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the International Service for The Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications (ISAAA) jointly held a seminar on genetic manipulation.

Addressing the seminar, Trieu Van Hung, Director of MARD’s Department of Science and Technology, said ISAAA’s annual reports and analysis on genetically modified plants were of great value to Vietnam , which has been studying technological advances in agricultural production.

The development and application of advanced bio-technology in Vietnam through 2020 has been a key programme, aiming to create new varieties of plants and animals that provide high yields, good quality and economic efficiency, Hung said.

ISAAA President Dr. Clive James said that over the past years, the benefits of genetically modified plants have become clear--increasing both output and people’s incomes, protecting biodiversity, the environment and the climate, as well as other socio-economic benefits.

The added value from such plants from 1996 to 2008 was estimated at 52 billion USD, with half of the value being from reduced production costs and the other half from increased output.

In 2009, the acreage for the farming of bio-tech plants was 134 million ha, a 7 percent increase over 2008.

Twenty-five countries grew bio-tech plants in the 1996-2009 period. Of them, developing countries expanded the bio-tech plants areas faster than developed ones, making up 46 percent of the total area and are expected to reach 50 percent in 2015.

Dr. Clive James expected that Vietnam would soon stand among those countries in genetic mutation technology./.