Iranian Official Calls for More Cultivation of GM Crops
The head of the Iranian parliament's agriculture committee Abbas Rajaj says Iran needs to invest more in genetically modified crops. Abbas Rajai who was speaking on the sidelines of the eighth meeting of Iran's Veterinary Council said food and water are the two main challenges facing the 21st century. Rajai referred to how some nations are involved in the trade of water and land even today and said such a crisis, highlights the need for new technologies in the agricultural sector more than ever. Rajai further referred to figures which show Iran's population reaching 250 million people in the next 20 years and said these people will need food to survive.
Highlighting the existence of 40 million hectares of desert land in Iran, Rajai added that these uninhabited areas are currently being used by bandits and have no benefits for the nation. But he said, if this land is used for biotech crops and for greenhouse production purposes it could help feed millions of people in the country. He also complained that currently, the cultivation of GM crops is moving at a very slow pace in the country. Lastly he called on the ministries of health, agriculture and environment to resolve their differences over the use of GM crops and make this issue a priority.
The news was translated by Shiva Bakhtiari of IRBIC from http://khabarfarsi.com/ext/3335434
This article is part of the Crop Biotech Update, a weekly summary of world developments in agri-biotech for developing countries, produced by the Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology, International Service for the Aquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications SEAsiaCenter (ISAAA)