Crop Biotech Update

India's Agriculture Minister Bolsters GM Crops for Food Security

August 28, 2013

India's Union Minister of Agriculture Mr. Sharad Pawar expressing his concerns over the Food Security Bill, said that drastic steps, including approval of more genetically modified (GM) crops, need to be taken simultaneously to boost agricultural production. In an interview with the Indian Express, Mr. Pawar said his biggest concern was that incentives to the farmer may be cut to meet the subsidy burden arising from this Bill. In turn, this could set off a negative spiral, forcing India to import large amounts from abroad. "So for that purpose, we have no choice but to produce more," he added. He called for easing the environment for conducting field trials for GM crops. He said that India has moved from a net importer of cotton to the second largest exporter of cotton owing to the cultivation of Bt cotton.

"There are a number of crops where our scientists have developed a good variety of transgenic crops but they are not even allowed to conduct trials... We should take the views of those who are supposed to produce and not a few NGOs,"  Mr. Pawar stated.

 For the full interview visit http://www.indianexpress.com/news/boost-gm-crops-to-meet-food-security-demand-sharad-pawar/1160098/0.