Use of Biotech Crops can reduce Food insecurity in the country: Minister

Islamabad, July 08, 2013 (PPI-OT): “Biotechnology is a modern tool to improve productivity of agriculture sector and application of its benefits at farmers’ doorstep would play an important role in enhancing productivity that ultimately will help to ensure food security and reducing poverty in the country”.

Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research said this while attending the launching ceremony of ISAAA Report-44 on Global Status of commercialized Biotech Crops, prepared by Clive James, Chair, ISAAA Board of Directors here at Pakistan Academy of Sciences.

The minister said that Pakistan was primarily an agricultural country and 70% of its population was directly or indirectly dependent on it. Therefore, it was imperative to use modern agricultural technologies in order to increase crops’ yield to meet the need of the growing population.

The minister also said that use of agri-biotech can address the issue of food insecurity and for this it was necessary to promote and enhance understanding of bio-technology amongst the farmers. The minister also stated that Pakistan needed a farmer oriented national strategy and plan of action in order to make use of this revolutionary science to increase its agricultural output.

“Biotech crops can significantly increase productivity and hence can serve as an engine of rural economic growth that can contribute to alleviation of property”, emphasized the minister.

The minister also pointed out that though Pakistan was among the first few countries to realize the potential of biotechnology in early 1970s but unfortunately the process has slowed down. The process now needed to be accelerated to meet the growing demand of food, said the minister. Moreover, development of biotechnology at grass root level in Pakistan is of great importance in order to reap the benefits from this productivity-enhancing technology.

“ In future scenario, our country needs to work out plans for drought control, use nitrogen efficiently, increase nutrition value of food crops by employing modern farming methods and also develop a chain for sustainable and quality supply of food and feed in the country”, stated the minister.

Mr Seerat Asghar Jaura, Secretary Ministry of National Food Security and Research, while speaking on the occasion said that no economic policy could succeed unless agricultural sector is placed at its centre.

The event was also attended by members of National Bio Safety Committee, National Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering and Centre of Excellence in Molecular Biology.

For more information, contact:
Haji Ahmed Malik
Principal Information Officer
Press Information Department (PID)
Tel: +9251 925 2323 and +9251 925 2324
Fax: +9251 925 2325 and +9251 925 2326

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