India in No Position to Stop GM Tech: Minister
News Nov 30, 2009
- Hindu Business Line, Nov. 13, 2009
NEW DELHI: The Government on Friday said India cannot oppose the use of the genetically modified technology as it wants to increase crop yields. “The GM technology cannot be avoided,” the Minister of State for Agriculture, Mr K V Thomas said, adding India cannot oppose the use of technology if it wants to increase yields and manage the present agricultural crisis.
The crop shortage of key food-grains had led to a rise in prices of some food commodities such as sugar and tur dal this year. In Kerala, tur dal is costing Rs 90-100 a kg and sugar has touched Rs 35 a kg this year, he shared. The minister noted: “The country need to take scientific and practical steps to improve productivity and bring down cost of production. The GM technology is one way to achieve this.” However, the GM food should be a matter of choice, he added.
Supporting GM technology, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Deputy Director General, Mr Swapan Dutta said, “The climate change will further add difficulties to our present food crisis. We need to develop new generation crops, which can b e grown under adverse weather conditions and can generate better income to farmers.” At present, Bt cotton is widely cultivated in India. Last month, the government had approved the commercial cultivation of Bt brinjal also.