August 22, 2014 – BR Report –
Pakistan needs to adopt science-based agriculture at the national level in order to meet the constantly growing food, fiber and fodder demands in Pakistan besides increasing per-acre yield and quality of its agriculture produce. This was the consensus of speakers at the launching ceremony of ISAAA report (ISAAA Brief 46) on global status of Genetically Modified (GM) crops organized by the Pakistan Biotechnology Information Center (PABIC) in collaboration with PABIC Lahore here the other day.
The renowned biotechnologists of Pakistan Dr Kauser Abdullah Malik and Dr Tayyab Hussnain addressed the event and said agriculture is the backbone of national economy. Pakistan is among the largest producers of cotton, maize, rice, citrus, etc. However, the yield and quality of agriculture produce is not at par with the world standards. Therefore, it is imperative to adopt science based agriculture at the national level in order to meet the constantly growing food, fiber and fodder demands in Pakistan. Modern biotechnology being one of the important developments of present era has immense potential for improving agricultural productivity.
However, for its use on scientific and sustainable basis, we need coherent policies and clear implementation strategy to adapt agro-biotech, focusing on crops which require less water, less fertilisers and pesticides and giving more yields to feed the growing population as well as to provide raw material for high value exports. Therefore, it is the need of time to adopt the agriculture biotechnology at the national level in order to meet the constantly growing food demands in Pakistan.
Dr James Tebbe, Rector FC College, addressed on the importance of the promotion of science as well as the need for ventures such as ISAAA in order to engage science in a better manner. Dr Clive James, Founding Chairman ISAAA and author of ISAAA Brief during his video message talked about the highlights of ISAAA Brief 46. He briefed about the adaptation rate of agro-biotechnology world-wide.
Dr Tayyab Husnain, Director Center of Excellence in Molecular Biology (CEMB), Lahore, gave a presentation on the potential of agriculture in Pakistan as well as highlighting major developments. DG Pakistan Environment Protection Agency (PEPA), Islamabad Dr Khursheed Sawati talked about the need for biotech regulation in Pakistan. Dr Kauser Abdulla Malik during his concluding remarks said this is a great challenge to provide sufficient food to the growing population of the world.