‘Biotechnology vital for rapid agricultural development’ | Pakistan Today

‘Biotechnology vital for rapid agricultural development’

KARACHI – The use of biotechnology approach is vital for rapid agricultural development and healthcare in the country, said University of Karachi’s International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS) Director Dr M Iqbal Choudhary on Friday.
“The potential of biotech crops for the future is enormous,” he said while delivering a lecture at the ICCBS. He further said that droughts and floods are predicted to become more prevalent and severe as country faces new challenges associated with climate change, and hence, there will be a need for faster crop improvement programmes.
Dr Iqbal was of the view that there should be a national strategy and plan of action to use this revolutionary science. He said that biotech crops already contribute to some of the major challenges facing global society, including: food security and self-sufficiency, sustainability, alleviation of poverty and hunger, help in mitigating some of the challenges associated with climate change and global warming.
Dr Iqbal pointed out that at a time when nations all across the world are multiplying their agriculture productivity, preventing disease prevalence by universal vaccination, and solving the problem of environmental pollution, Pakistan should also chalk out a national strategy and plan of action to use this revolutionary science for solving preventing problems and for rapid development.
He said that there is a rapid population increase and in view of this biotech crops can increase productivity and income significantly, and hence, can serve as an engine of rural economic growth that can contribute to the alleviation of poverty for the small and resource-poor farmers.
Dr Iqbal said that several biotech crop tools, including tissue culture, diagnostics, genomics, molecular marker-assisted selection and biotech crops can be used collectively for speeding up the breeding and help mitigate the effects of climate change. He was of the view that biotechnology, if used appropriately, has the potential to provide healthier foods, reduce dependence on fossil fuel, and offer more effective cure of prevalent diseases and fatal disease.
“There is an urgent need for appropriate cost- and time-effective regulatory systems that are responsible, rigorous and yet not onerous, requiring only modest resources that are within the means of most developing countries,” he said.



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