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October 20, 2019

Pakistan lags behind in adopting agri tech


October 20, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly Standing Committee on National Food Security & Research says if technology can help farmers then they will definitely opt for it otherwise the they will never take any such decision that hampers the interests of Pakistan or farmers.

The committee decided to consult the ministries of health, commerce and climate change to know the exact situation around GM technology approval for maize.

The committee met at the Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) here, says a press release.

The committee discussed if the latest agricultural technology was useful for future generations or not and had invited Crop Life Pakistan Association’s representatives for a presentation on the benefits of GM technology.

Sharing the details about benefits of GM technology for agriculture, Muhammad Asim from Crop Life Pakistan highlighted the advantages saying that more than 70 countries were using GM food and 26 countries were cultivating GM crops.

It was also shared that GM maize hybrids had between 10-45% yield advantages in the government field trials (NUYT). Similarly, yield data from countries with GM maize adoption showed significant yield growth compared to pre GM period.

Discussing the advantages and disadvantages of genetically modified seeds, Secretary Ministry of NFSR Hashim Populzai told the committee that the ministry was not against the GM technology and they were ready to work with the industry for cotton crop but they needed time to review the GM seeds to be introduced for maize crop.

Chairman Standing Committee Rao Ajmal said they had already wasted a lot of time. He mentioned that India opted for agri technology two decades ago and now it was far ahead of Pakistan in per acre yield of cotton. He said Pakistan was losing international market share in the agri sector for being slow with adoption of technologies.

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