ISLAMABAD: Biotechnology is the best option to tackle issues of food security and economic development in developing countries, but in Pakistan it has not yielded desired results because of its entry through ‘back door channels’.
This was the observation of Dr Mariechel Navarro, Manager, Global Knowledge Centre on Crop Biotechnology International Service for Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications, who was addressing a workshop titled “International perspective about the future of biotech crops,” here on Friday.
Dr Rhodora Aldemita, Senior Programme Officer of Global Knowledge Centre, also spoke on the use of biotechnology.
Navarro said the biotechnology that was being used on crops in Pakistan was not in line with international standards due to lack of research and development activities as well as insufficient financial resources.
“The number of times pesticides are sprayed has not come down because the technology has entered into the country without research that could address different issues,” she added.
However, she pointed out that biotech cotton in developing countries such as China, India, Pakistan, Myanmar, Bolivia, Burkina Faso and South Africa contributed a lot to improving the income of millions of small resource-poor farmers in 2011.
“The income can be enhanced significantly in the remaining four years of the second decade of commercialisation – from 2012 to 2015 – principally with biotech cotton, maize and rice,” Navarro said.
Owing to the significant benefits, a strong growth in cultivated area continued in 2011 with a double-digit increase of 12 million hectares at an annual growth rate of 8%.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 3rd, 2012.