OIC Ministerial Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation (COMSTECH) and The Islamic Organization for Food Security (IOFS), Kazakhstan, in partnership with the Bio-resources Conservation Institute (BCI) of Pakistan Agricultural Research Centre (PARC) conducted a 2-day international online training webinar on “Acquisition, Conservation, Exchange, and Safety Duplication of Plant Genetic Resources (PGR) in OIC Member Countries – MENA Chapter” during  September 21-22, 2021. MENA (Middle East North Africa) is one of the three recognized regions of the OIC.

PGR experts from 17 OIC member states delivered this training on the importance of conserving plant genetic resources, plant identification and herbarium, intellectual property rights and PGR, Genebank establishment, operation and information management, and plant genetic resource utilization. An overview of national gene banks of different OIC member states was also part of the training. Representatives of seven national Genebanks, the International Centre for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) and the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) made technical presentations on different aspects of plant genetic resources preservation and exchange between member states of the OIC.


Mr. Yerlan A. Baidaulet, Director-General, IOFS, stressed the strong belief and intention of his organization to build beneficial collaboration and networking among Genebanks in OIC member states, including the availability of accession and exchange.


Prof. Dr. Muhammad Iqbal Choudhary, Coordinator General of COMSTECH thanked the Director-General of IOFS for joint implementation of activities, and expressed his willingness to continue the COMSTECH-IOFS collaboration in the future. It is essential to note that both institutions commit all their resources and efforts to achieve best possible outcomes for the interest of OIC member countries.


The two institutions, through a Memorandum of Understanding, had agreed to hold a series of training sessions on PGR conservation and safety for OIC member countries in 2021. This was the third training of the series, conducted for Middle East and North Africa region. First two trainings covered the Asian and African regions and were conducted in July and August 2021.