ICAR Emphasizes Importance of Field Trials of GM Crops
India's premier agriculture research body Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has emphasized the importance of genetically engineered crops in bridging the demand and supply gap for foodgrains in the future. 'Vision 2050' which provides a strategic framework for innovation-led inclusive and sustainable agricultural growth in the country has listed research into genetically modified organisms (GMOs) among nine key areas which have to be harnessed to enhance productivity, nutrition, and farmers' income.
ICAR in its vision document said, "Genetic enhancement is considered to be a major option to bridge the demand and supply gap under normal situations as well as under projected scenarios of increased frequency and intensity of stresses." The document, released by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Patna on July 25, also noted that the GMOs do not provide a "miracle solution" to all problems, it detailed how scientific research in this area, backed by proper field trials, would help in dealing with safety and ethical aspects of genetically engineered crops.
"I am sure that ICAR Vision 2050 would stir new thinking in researchers to harness science, in the policymakers to develop policies for sustainable development of agriculture to provide food, income and livelihood, and in the consumers an urge to tailor their lifestyle, keeping in view the planetary boundaries of the Earth's resource system", said Dr. S. Ayyappan, director general of ICAR, in his preface to the vision document.
Download a copy of Vision 2050 from ICAR website.
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)