A call has been made for developing countries to fully utilise industrial biotechnology in value adding their natural resources for sustainable socio-economic and environmental development.

The country is hosting the second edition of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Science and Technology Workshop on Industrial Biotechnology, focusing on how developing countries can fully utilise biotechnology in value adding their resources for development.

Speaking at the official opening of the workshop in Harare today, NAM Science and Technology Centre Director General, Professor Arun Prakash Kulshreshth said “industrial biotechnology has proven to be a key enabler for industrialisation and in order for countries to benefit from its applications, there is need for development, transfer, adaptation and diffusion of these technologies to achieve sustainable development.”

In his key note address, prominent Zimbabwean scientist, Professor Christopher Chetsanga said African research centres remain underfunded, thereby failing to come up with researches and skills that enable their countries to utilise biotechnology.

Officially opening the workshop, the Deputy Minister for Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development, Dr Godfrey Gandawa challenged researchers to adopt and implement bio-safety frameworks to ensure responsible application of the new technologies in bio-sciences.

The three-day event which began this Tuesday is running under the theme: ‘Driving Value Addition and Beneficiation.’