LAHORE: More than 500 corn-farmers from across Punjab attended the field trial and demonstration event organised by Monsanto Pakistan at their field research facility located at Manga Mandi near Lahore.
The event showcased Monsanto’s latest bio-tech corn seed technology together with high performance hybrid seed products, with the objective of educating famers on Monsanto’s latest products and technology.
The occasion also included an exhibition space for various vendors and businesses related to the agriculture sector, including agriculture implements manufacturers, on-farm solar energy solution providers, fertilisers and agri finance institutions.
Briefing the visitors, Shariq Bokhari, Sales Effectiveness Lead – Asia & Africa at Monsanto Pakistan, explained that the new bio-tech seed had the potential to increase the yield of corn crop by an additional 5-10% through mitigation of yield losses incurred on account of weed and insect attacks.
Farmers attending the event received detailed briefings and practical demonstrations of the new seed technology. Many of the farmers showed excitement at the prospect of a new and technologically advanced seed and urged the introduction of the new bio-tech corn at the earliest.
Explaining the features of the to-be-launched bio-tech corn products, Monsanto’s Regulatory Affairs Lead Muhammad Asim said, “the bio-tech seed has special features that enable better yield assurance through protection against weeds and pests, resulting in enhanced livelihood of farming communities.”
Asim confirmed that the new bio-tech corn received approval in February 2016 for commercialisation from the Federal Ministry of Climate Change and currently permission of hybrids with the modern technology is awaited for commercial import from the Ministry of National Food Security and Research.
He explained that all other regulatory requirements had been fulfilled after having initiated the very first trials in 2009 and subsequent submission of commercialisation application in 2011. It is expected that the new product will be commercially available soon.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 26th, 2016.