Only safe new technologies for farmers would be preferred

Biotechnology should revisit problems that could not be resolved so far and find solutions for them,says Dr. Harsh Vardhan
Only safe new technologies for farmers would be preferred

Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Radha Mohan Singh said though there were drought conditions in some recent years crop yields have not reduced much because of interventions adopting biotechnology measures. Genetic engineering is a technical means but safety aspects of genetic engineering should also be kept in mind.

Addressing the inaugural session of Global Biotechnology Summit in New Delhi on Friday, Singh said, “The demands for food crops will increase in future and this increased demand will be met only through the technology. New technologies that are beneficial for farmers and are found to be safe to Environment and Human Health are the ones which would be preferred.”

“ My Ministry supports research on transgenic crops if it is conducted as per approved procedure and guidelines and various bio and environmental safety measures are followed and prescribed approvals from the GEAC, the duly constituted authority in MoEF&CC, are obtained,” he added.

Inaugurating a two day Global Biotechnology Summit on “Destination India” Union Minister for Science & Technology & Earth Sciences Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that the Biotechnology should revisit some problems that could not be resolved so far and find solutions for them.

“ Though there is universal immunization Programme in the country it is said that 30 percent of children still do not get proper vaccination. There is malnutrition and the problem of stunted growth among children in the country,” he added. The Minister pointed out that the young population of India should take forward ideas to achieve target of 100 billion US dollars for the biotechnology sector by 2020 instead of 2025 for which the target has been set now.

The Summit is being held as a run up to the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) celebrating its 30th Foundation Day on 26th February, 2016. The Summit is also expected to help attract investors and other key partners to invest in the biotech sector in India, in response to the call given by the Prime Minister for Make in India and for encouragement of the start-up ecosystem with a potential for scale-up. It would broadly focus on the priority themes – Make in India, Nurturing Bio entrepreneurship, Skill India, Biotech opportunities and action for Swachh Bharat and Swasth Bharat. Biotechnology cooperation, Biotechnology Innovation for inclusive development, Biotechnology and Society or other topics scheduled for panel discussions at Plenary talks during this Summit. These discussions are expected to help to align the goals of the biotech strategy with policies of State Governments and to prepare joint action plans.

About 1200-1500 participants are attending the two day event including eminent scientists from national and international public and private sector organizations and universities. Delegations from State Governments, representatives and delegations from other countries with which DBT partners, students, research fellows, Biotech Start-up Entrepreneurs, policy-makers, Civil society and other stakeholders are among the participants. All DBT ex-secretaries were also present during the deliberations. 

The Changing Face of Rural India