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March 14, 2019

Local seeds

Newspost

 
March 14, 2019

Certain stakeholders have strongly opposed the introduction of genetically modified (GM) maize commercial cultivation. They believe that it is in the best interest of both consumers and farmers if the country continues with the production of hybrid maize. They have also added that the investment in local hybrids developed by the seed industry required the prioritising of hybrid maize. The introduction of genetically modified seeds will not only increase the cost of farming for farmers due to high royalty fee, but will also lead to the containment of the local crop. This will also have severe adverse effects on the investment in locally developed hybrid varieties. The export of maize-based value-added products from the country can only be continued on the sustained basis if local growers stick to the hybrid technology and refrain from allowing genetically modified seeds.

There is a strong need to bind local seed producers to ensure the uninterrupted production of hybrid maize seeds, which will reduce the import bill and benefit farmers. Currently, the country spends millions of dollars in importing hybrid maize seeds from various countries. The government should not allow the cultivation of GM maize if it wants to protect the interests of local farmers.

Khan Faraz

Peshawar

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