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Crop Biotech Update

Bosan: GM Crops Answer to Food Insecurity

July 10, 2013

Sikandar Hayat Bosan, Pakistan's Minister for National Food Security and Research stressed the need to promote biotechnology to improve agricultural productivity in the country during the launch of ISAAA's Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops 2012 Report in Islamabad. The Minister said that agricultural biotechnology can address the global issue of food insecurity, adding that it is necessary to promote and enhance understanding of biotechnology among Pakistan's farmers.

The Minister said that 70 percent of Pakistan's population is directly or indirectly dependent on agriculture. It is important to use modern agricultural technologies to increase crop yields and meet the needs of a growing population, he added. According to him, "Biotechnology is a modern tool to improve productivity of agriculture sector and application of its benefits at farmers' doorstep would play an important role in enhancing productivity that ultimately will help to ensure food security and reducing poverty in the country."

Pakistan is among the 28 countries that planted biotech crops in 2012. Bt cotton was grown commercially in the country for the third year in 2012, with approximately 700,000 small farmers planting 2.8 million hectares of the crop.

For more information about agricultural biotechnology in Pakistan, visit the website of the Pakistan Biotechnology Information Center at http://www.pabic.com.pk/, or contact Dr. Muhammad Iqbal Choudhary at hej@khi.comsats.net.pk.