ISLAMABAD, Aug 11 (APP): Minister for National Food Security and Research, Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan here Thursday urged the need for motivating farmers to adopt new and modern crop technology instead of old and less effective one to cater with the increasing food demand of the country.
Addressing the inaugural session of workshop on capacity building of Biosafety Technology, he said rapid adoption of such crops in industrial and developing countries clearly showing the importance of this technology.
The two-day workshop on capacity building of Bio Safety Technology was organized in collaboration with Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) and Pakistan Biotechnology information Center ( PABIC).
The minister said 20 years of commercialization showed that the crop biotechnology had enormous prospects, as the technology had far-reaching economic, environmental, social and health benefits.
Sikandar Bosan enumerated the challenges faced by the country in form of energy crisis, food security and rapid urbanization and climate change.
By 2050, he said there would be an enormous increase in the population of the country and hence water and land scarcity, adding that in face of such challenges, country took a bold step towards resorting to biotechnology.
The minister expressed pleasure at the progress made in the field of biotech crops in the form of genes manipulations through exotic means and thereby using them into crops to gain positive results which include insect resistance, protection from disease, and drought soil salinity.
He said real benefits would be attained through generating strong awareness about the practical application of biotechnology products among general public and farmers at large.
It is an encouraging sign that this technology would enhance food production by 5-6 percent which was a great sign for achieving food security.
The public acceptance of GM crops was encouraging as 85 percent under biotech cotton cultivation and other crops were also in pipeline.
The government endorse the positive use of biotechnology for public welfare and Pakistan had shown its commitment towards safe handling of GM crops, he remarked.
We have the Biosafety rules 2005 for safer use of this
biotechnology, he added
The minister said, there must be efforts to initiate consensus document over Biosafety at SAARC regional level and strongly suggested that SAARC working group on biotechnology should be activated.