Pakistan Agriculture News

Monsanto’s biotech corn approved for cultivation

LAHORE: The government of Pakistan has approved the cultivation of a high-yielding biotech corn seed, developed by Monsanto, the agricultural biotechnology giant, a statement said on Tuesday.

“The new biotech corn will have an insect-resistant feature along with herbicide tolerance, which will enable farmers to enhance productivity, reduce input and labor cost, and improve grain quality,” said Aamir Mirza, country lead at Monsanto Pakistan, while speaking at Crop Technology Annual Farmer Expo 2017.

“The corn seed will be available to farmers in Punjab after fulfilling registration requirements.”  While sharing his views on the growth prospects of agriculture sector in Pakistan, Mirza reaffirmed Monsanto’s commitment to delivering latest seed and technology solutions to Pakistani farmers.

“Such events are part of Monsanto’s broader effort to engage with farmers to create an appreciation for technology and innovation and highlight the importance of sustainable agriculture,” he explained.

Addressing the event, Lance Wang, vice president Monsanto South East Asia and Pakistan, said Monsanto was a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality.

“We remain focused on enabling both small-holders and large-scale farmers to produce more from their land while conserving natural resources such as water and energy,” Wang said.  Corn is emerging as an important crop in Pakistan with yields tripling over the past 15 years, almost entirely driven by access to high yielding hybrid seeds.

Currently, Pakistan is self-sufficient in corn, with over 60 per cent of its produce utilised for animal feed, whereas the remaining is consumed by various other industries and food processing facilities.

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However, considering the ever-increasing demand for corn, including the impressive 10-12 per cent growth shown by the poultry industry, corn crop productivity is going to be critical towards ensuring food security for future generations.

The annual event which was attended by 800 farmers from across Punjab also had a Learning Center which aimed to educate the farmers on Monsanto’s latest products and technology.  At the event, Monsanto Pakistan showcased its latest biotech corn seed technology together with high performance hybrid seed products.  Dr Usman Ali Khan, Managing Director, Punjab Seed Corporation and Dr Abid Mahmood, Director General, Agriculture Research, Punjab, also attended the event.

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