INDIAN COUNCIL OF AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH
Discussions on Cultivation of Genetically Modified Crops
23rd October 2012, New Delhi
There is need to produce more food in limited soil and water resources for the burgeoning population expected to reach 1.5 billion by 2025. The land is shrinking and the pressure on the natural resources is increasing. In view of the discussions regarding cultivation of genetically modified crops, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) had organized a discussion today which also brought together other Govt. of India science Departments viz. Deptt. of Biotechnology (DBT), Deptt of Environment and Forests (DoEF), Deptt. of Agriculture and Cooperation (DAC).
The meeting included over 40 senior most eminent scientists, technocrats and bureaucrats.
The group felt the necessity of jointly taking on board all the challenges being faced by Indian agriculture. It appreciated taking into cognizance all kinds of new sciences and technologies to meet the challenges. The group appreciated the potential of Biotechnology to contribute towards sustainable agriculture through traits in crops to tolerate various biotic and abiotic stresses, improve nitrogen uptake and its use-efficiency and enhance nutritional status of grains to address malnutrition in developing countries like India.
A reference to the press release on 9th October 2012 of the meeting of Scientific Advisory Council of the Prime Minister on Biotechnology and Agriculture was made. The group felt encouraged from its recommendations on the way forward and its suggestions for several pragmatic changes that can improve the regulatory system to ensure that GM crop technology will be made available to Indian farmers in the best possible manner with all safety guidelines and protocols in place.
It was emphasized that such new technologies will help farmers to produce more and conserve their valuable natural resources - sustainable agriculture in the truest sense. It was emphasized that the success of Bt cotton technology in India should be an eye opener for all stakeholders to move forward in addressing the needs of future agriculture. The meeting resolved to make use of the collective wisdom of the stakeholders from different backgrounds in addressing the issues being faced in nurturing science-led agriculture development in India.