LAHORE: Climate change, which is posing a serious threat to the country’s agricultural productivity and water resources, cannot be avoided completely, but its effects can be lessened through developing high temperature-tolerant, climate-resilient genetically modified crops and constructing mega water reservoirs, scientists say.
This was the crux of presentations made by scientists from University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) at a workshop organised by the Agricultural Journalists Association, UAF and Monsanto Pakistan here on Monday.
Professor Ashfaq Ahmad Chattha, in his presentation, pointed out that not only carbon dioxide (CO2) level, but also temperature was rising because of climate change, leading to increased water requirement for crops and loss of production in absence of water supply.
He was of the view that a one centigrade rise in temperature could result in loss of 1.2 million tons of wheat production.
Chattha suggested that the country should redefine agro-ecological zones to cope with climate change. “We have to develop an automated environmental network, use models for forecasting, make adjustments to planting time, densities and sowing method, change cropping pattern and cropping intensity and choose suitable varieties.”
He also underlined the need for developing crop varieties keeping in view the climate change perspective and introducing new crops using conventional as well as mutation breeding through biotechnology and genetic engineering.
Monsanto Pakistan Country Lead Aamir Mahmood Mirza, said Monsanto – a US-based agricultural biotechnology corporation – was working with the objective of ‘produce more conserve more” .
He said Monsanto invested $1.5 billion per annum in research and development activities to double the yield of cotton, corn and soya by 2030.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 20th, 2013.
Like Business on Facebook to stay informed and join in the conversation.