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Biotechnology can change future of agriculture

16
Mar '07
New tools and biotechnology can work in conjunction with better breeding and higher yielding seed to give maximum benefit to farmers, said Mr. Jerry Steiner, Executive Vice – President, Monsanto Company at a meeting organized by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here on Friday. Biotechnology is a tool that farmers are rapidly adapting in developing countries and has a tremendous impact on country's development and economy, he mentioned.

Good quality seeds backed by good biotechnology are supporting the growth in productivity of Indian farmers, said Mr. Steiner. Talking on the environmental concern of biotechnology he said that developed genes could produce higher yields with fewer inputs including nitrogen, which is the main cause of environmental hazard in conventional farming. Biotechnology can also address health concerns of consumer and can contribute to healthier life as it has done in US, where a 90% reduction in saturated fat and trans fat has been achieved in soybean oil, he added.

Mr. Steiner said that it is a challenge to increase access to agriculture's tools and focus should be on self-sufficiency and choice of the farmers. It is important, he said, to create partnerships, relationships and networks in agricultural sector to promote biotechnology, Mr. Steiner also stated that Public – Private partnership can support advancement of new technologies, which can benefit local farmers and economies.

Mr. Salil Singhal, Chairman – CII Foodand Agriculture Sub-Committee (NR) and Managing Director, PI Industries Ltd. mentioned that CII is committed to long-term involvement to industrial and agricultural development. He said that there is a huge productivity gap, which contributes to rural poverty and the right technology is required to address this issue. Agriculture is an extremely complex business and needs expertise in technology to sustain an equitable growth for the farmers, said Mr. Singhal.

Confederation of Indian Industry


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