Sunday, 7 February 2016

India needs home-grown GM food to stop starvation

Indian scientists must develop domestic genetically modified crops rather than rely on unsuitable foreign technology, says Anurag Chaurasia,a biotechnologist with the National Bureau of Agriculturally Important Microorganisms in Kushmaur, India.

 At the beginning of this month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a road map to guide India’s science and technology over the next two decades. Launched during the Indian Science Congress at the University of Mysore, the plan signalled a cautious approach to techniques such as genetically modified (GM) crops, noting that “some aspects of biotechnology have posed serious legal and ethical problems in recent years”. That is true, but a different and much larger problem looms for India. According to the 2015 United Nations World Population Prospects report, India will surpass China by early next decade as the most populous country on Earth, with the most mouths to feed. India is already classed as having a ‘serious’ hunger problem, according to the 2015 Global Hunger Index of the International Food Policy Research Institute. There is a danger that many of these new Indians will not have sufficient food.
Where can additional food come from? Grain production is stagnant, and rapid urbanization is reducing available land. To increase food production, India needs to invest in modern agricultural methods, including GM crops.

Read the column in Nature

No comments:

Post a Comment

Pl. post your comments