Biotechnology adoption can help overcome agriculture challenges

Biotechnology Adoption
Biotechnology Adoption

May 02, 2013

ZAHID BAIG

Pakistan can address challenges in agriculture by using biotechnology as globally the adoption of genetically modified crops has been a success with proven socio-economic benefits.

In addition to meeting food security challenge, genetically modified/biotech crops offer multiple economic, crop management, productivity, and environmental benefits. Benefits that these crops offer include, but not limited to, better yields and guarding against insect pests and weeds as well as being cost effective and less labour intensive.

These views were expressed by the experts of biotechnology industry while briefing a delegation of the Agricultural Journalists Association (AJA) about latest agricultural technologies including biotechnology during their visit to Monsanto Pakistan’s state-of-the-art research centre in Manga Mandi, where the company is conducting field trials of its GM corn product and various vegetables and fruits. The journalists also visited the field trails sites.

On this occasion, Monsanto Pakistan Regulatory Affairs Lead Muhammad Asim, and Breeding Lead Abdul Ghaffar briefed the visitors about the benefits of GM corn as well as biotechnology. They informed the journalists that their company had completed the field trials of GM corn and now they were awaiting government’s approval to launch the product in the market. They claimed that GM corn can increase the productivity of corn, an important food crop after wheat and rice, by considerably decreasing the losses caused by insect pests and weeds. They said that farmers were well aware of this problem with no solution. They said Pakistan already had a quantum jump in corn production after introduction of hybrid varieties. They claimed that yield increase in spring season is at 2.5 times higher whereas in autumn is 3.5 times. According to their briefing in 1990 spring yield of corn was around 40 maund per acre which jumped to 100 maund per acre in 2010.

However, they were of the view that more increase in production could only be ensured through introduction GM varieties. They said that corn is sown on one million hectares in Pakistan including 445,000 hectares in Punjab and 550,000 hectares in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. They said consumption of corn in Pakistan is approximately about 3.8 million tones and its increasing.Courtesy: BR

 

 

Published: Zarai Media Team

Agriculture in Pakistan, Agricultural Biotechnology,

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