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April 19, 2012

Pak authorities urged to get roadmap

 
April 19, 2012

KARACHI: The authorities concerned with the agricultural development of the country need a roadmap for enhancing the farm production and a clear vision to be able to read and follow the roadmap, an industry executive said Wednesday.
Pakistan should have a clear vision to address its agricultural challenges, said Aamir Mehmood Mirza, Country Lead, Monsanto Pakistan.
Pakistan can enhance its agriculture production and its contribution to GDP by having a clear roadmap and by adopting new and innovative technology in agriculture sector, he said.
Biotech crops can be the potential solution to overcome the food security issue arising because of fast growing population in Pakistan, Mirza said.
There is a lot of room for increasing per acre yield of vegetables, Pakistan imports 94 percent of vegetable seeds, which is around 5.5 million tons each year, he said.
The genetically modified (GM) seeds are environment-friendly, more reliable and cost-effective solutions, and are insect-protected seeds, which increases productivity, he said.
Monsanto is a technology-based solution provider for agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality and can help Pakistan to over come its agriculture-based issues.
Monsanto remains focused on conserving more of our world’s natural resources such as water and energy, claimed Monsanto Country Lead.
Mirza said that field trials of corn have been conducted in Punjab after the approvals from the regulatory authorities. All process of field trials were closely monitored by the government agencies.
He said that negotiations with the Punjab government have not failed these have slowed down due to other reasons, Mirza said. The government of Punjab has not informed the company about the scraping the deal.
BT cotton already exists in Pakistan, which was not introduced by Monsanto however Monsanto was lobbying for introducing Bollgard II (BGII) seed in Pakistan.
Mirza added that Monsanto has a

strong core business in Pakistan based on DEKALB and Asgrow seed brands and the family of Roundup herbicide products, backed by well spread marketing infrastructure to reach farmers through out Pakistan.
Mirza, claimed that Monsanto is the first agriculture company in Pakistan to invest in all essential components of seed business, such as research, production, processing, and quality assurance and developing a viable marketing infrastructure.
Monsanto came to Pakistan on October 01, 1998, by acquiring Cargill International Seed operations. During that period, Monsanto also acquired DEKALB Genetics and Asgrow business worldwide, giving Pakistan an access to wide range of superior genetics.