Experts call for promotion
of Bio technology in agriculture sector
03 MARCH 2012: ISLAMABAD: The experts including
international biotechnologists here called for promotion of
bio-technology in the agricultural sector for ensuring food
security to the increasing population in the country.
"Bio-Technology crops are the safest for human consumption",
Dr. Rhodora Aldemita Programme Officer of International
Service For acquisition of Agricultural Bio-technology
applications said while addressing the concluding session of
a seminar on "International perspective about the Future of
Biotech Crops ".
The seminar was organized by Agricultural Journalistan's
Association (AJA), Lahore for creating awareness about the
importance of Biotechnology for development of agriculture
sector for food security in the country.
A senior Journalist Babar Ayaz conducted the workshop which
was attended by more than thirty (30) journalists.
The experts were of the view that Pakistan can ensure its
food security for its growing population by promoting
biotechnology applications in the agriculture sector.
Highlighting the international scenario of Biotechnology
applications in the agriculture sector they remarked that
Biotech Crop hectares continue to climb after 15 consecutive
years of strong growth, as global population soars to seven
They said due to significant benefits, strong growth
continued in 2011 with a double-digit increase of 12 million
hectares, at an annual growth rate of 8%, reaching 160
million hectares, up from 148 million hectares in 2010.
They said that a 94-fold increase from 1.7 million hectares
in 1996 to 160 million hectares in 2011, makes biotech crops
the fastest adopted crop technology in recent history.
The most compelling testimony
to biotech crops was that in the period 1996 to 2011,
millions of farmers in 29 countries worldwide, made more
than 100 million independent decisions to plant and replant
an accumulated hectarage of 1.25 billion hectares - one
principal reason underpins the trust and confidence of
risk-averse farmers in the technology - biotech crops
deliver sustainable and substantial, socioeconomic and
environmental benefits, they said.
They further highlighted that out of the 29 countries
planting biotech crops in 2011, 19 were developing and 10
were industrial countries.
The top 10 countries each grew more than one million
hectares and they provide a broad-based, worldwide
foundation for diversified growth in the future, they added.
They said that in 2011, a record 16.7 million farmers, up
1.3 million or 8% from 2010, grew biotech crops - notably
over 90%, or 15 million, were small resource-poor farmers in
developing countries; farmers are the masters of risk
aversion and in 2011, a record 7 million small farmers in
China and another 7 million in India, elected to plant 14.5
million hectares of Bt cotton.
Speakers apprised that developing countries grew 50% of
global biotech crops in 2011 and are expected to exceed
industrial country hectarage in 2012.
In 2011, growth rate for biotech crops was twice as fast,
and twice as large, in developing countries, at 11% or 8.2
million hectares, versus 5% or 3.8 million hectares in
Stacked traits are an important feature - 12 countries
planted biotech crops with two or more traits in 2011, and
encouragingly 9 of the 12 were developing countries - 42.2
million hectares, or more than a quarter, of the 160 million
hectares were stacked in 2011, up from 32.3 million hectares
or 22% of the 148 million hectares in 2010.
They experts also called upon both print and electronic
media in Pakistan to promote and project the biotechnology
and its benefits for the farmers community and the economic
prosperity of the country.