Regulations needed to boost advanced agri productivity

Official argues technology is necessary for sustainable growth

Our Correspondent September 27, 2017
Farm workers are seen at a farm. PHOTO: REUTERS

LAHORE: Pakistan needs an independent, science-based, transparent and predictable regulatory regime that would enable farmers to fully reap benefits of modern and advanced agricultural technologies for sustainable productivity in the country.

Though the establishment of more than 30 biotechnology research institutions is a testament to the government’s commitment towards promoting biotech crop solutions, we still need a regulatory environment where companies applying for registration of their latest products know the timeframe for approval or their product or vice versa.

New rice farming method ‘will benefit growers’

There is also a need to distinguish between the applicants and regulators as in Pakistan’s case some applicants also have the role of regulators, which may create issues for other companies.

These views were observed by CropLife Asia Executive Director Dr Siang Hee TAN, while talking to the media on Tuesday. Siang was of the view that growing population, climate change, scarcity of water and changing lifestyles continue to pose challenges to our food security. In order to address this emergent challenge, we need to promote sustainable means to grow food and embrace technological innovations that enable the same.

Siang is currently visiting Pakistan on an invitation from Pakistan Chapter of CropLife -CropLife Asia is a global initiative to ensure sustainability of agriculture.

Praising the Pakistan government’s vision and policy-position on technology adoption, especially relating to bio-technology, Siang urged the regulators to develop better synergies with their international counterparts and benefit from knowledge-sharing through data-transportability arrangements.

“The best-practices being adopted across the Asia region include; allocation of adequate resources for staffing and capacity-building of regulatory bodies, along with the deployment of modern agriculture technologies and progressive-farming methods.

“Rules and processes are being made more conducive to agricultural growth, through close consultation with the experts of this sector,” he remarked.

‘New technology will help farmers sow rice without water’ 

Based in Singapore, CropLife Asia operates in 91 countries with generous support from prestigious global enterprises like; Bayer, Monsanto, Dupont, Syngenta, etc. This global federation nurtures technological solutions to enrich the plant-science industry in pursuit of sustainability in agriculture, while it advocates international developments for crop-protection, seeds and agricultural biotechnology. Its innovative approach is protecting the interests of farmers, governments, consumers and the environment.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 27th, 2017.

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