Body formed to promote biotechnology in Pakistan

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To promote the culture of GM crops and agricultural biotechnology in Pakistan, a committee has been formed which will create awareness among the farmers and other stakeholders and would also work to remove the legal hindrances in this regard.

The richest and strong families of the country are swiftly shifting their business in food and agriculture sector to establish their monopoly on sector.

Experts’ opinion about the banefits of genetically modified (GM) crops is divided. Those who advocate the biotechnology culture say it is need of the hour to address growing concerns of food insecurity in all over the world. On the other hand, the critics believe GM crops, despite high yield, never helped to address the food shortage problem.

“CropLife Pakistan (CLP) has formed Biotech Committee to create more awareness about agricultural biotechnology in Pakistan. This Committee for year 2013 would be chaired by Monsanto, while DuPont Pioneer and Syngenta are the members,” announced CropLife Pakistan’s senior members Farooq Shahid, Sajjad Chattha, Muhammad Shoaib and Nadeem Austin at a press conference. “The working of the Biotech Committee will be governed by policies and procedures of CropLife International, a global federation representing the plant science industry, and CLP which is operating in the country since 1968,” they told the reporters.

They were of the view that achieving sustainability in food grain production and food security continues to be a challenge in the developing world including Pakistan and that the biotechnology was a tool available to improve food security and reduce poverty.

“The application of biotechnology by Pakistani farmers would not only result in enhancing productivity but would also help in addressing food security challenges faced by the country. At a time when nations all across the world are multiplying their agriculture productivity, preventing disease prevalence and solving the problem of environmental pollution, Pakistan needs a national strategy and plan of action to use this revolutionary science for solving/preventing problems and for rapid development.” Biotech crops can increase productivity and income significantly, and hence, can serve as an engine of rural economic growth that can contribute to the alleviation of poverty for the small and resource-poor farmers, according to the CropLife members.

Committee would therefore engage the biotech regulatory agencies for implementation of Biosafety Guidelines and Rules 2005 so that science-based, level playing field and transparent regulatory processes are implemented.


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