“There is a strong need to adopt modern agriculture technologies (biotechnology) especially in terms of seed development to strengthen national food security, environmental protection and to promote sustainable agriculture in Pakistan.”
This was stated by Dr Muhammad Afzal during his address at workshop on “Biotech Technologies: A step toward Sustainable Agriculture in Pakistan” organised by CropLife Pakistan (CLP) here on Tuesday.
CLP was established in 1968, is a part of CropLife International which is a global federation representing the plant science industry. CLP is promoting sustainable agriculture through the process of research, development, manufacture and sale of new innovative and safe products and services in the area of plant biotechnology, seeds and Crop Protection Products (CPP).
Afzal said that Pakistan is the 6th most populous country and our beigest challenges include food security, sustainable economic growth and environmental production. “Enhancement of yield and production of crop is one of the main challenges of Pakistan which can be achieved to a large extent by using biotechnology”, he added.
He said the use of biotechnology enables farmers to ensure better grain quality and meet local industry demands. Scope of biotechnology ranges from plant, health, industrial, food to enzymes sectors, Afzal added.
Afzal further said that 12 Biotech Crops are successfully being planted from last 20 years in 28 countries with cumulative area of 2 billion hectares and cumulative value of $150 billion.
He said that in Pakistan, maize is grown over 1 million hectare area with the production of 4.2 million metric ton. “Punjab contributes 59 percent of the total area under maize and 80 percent of the total production due to super elite genetics introduced by our member companies”, he said, adding that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa contribute 39 percent of the total areas and 18 percent of the production while Sindh and Balochistan contribute two and three percent of the total area respectively.
He said currently around 70 percent of corn grain produced in Pakistan is used in poultry and livestock feed, 20 percent in wet milling and 5 percent for food and other purposes.
“We are consuming what so ever is produced while considerable growth in poultry and livestock feed sector is demanding enhance productivity to meet domestic consumption”, he mentioned. He said that the approval of corn traits is very timely which will aid enhancing sustainable corn productivity.
Source: Business Recorder