scientists stress on need for biotechnology for
Hyderabad|India|May'2012: More and more countries in Europe
were taking to genetically modified crops and India should also embrace it
looking at the advantage of bio technology to increase productivity and
step up nutritional standards, B. Sesikeran, Director of the National
Institute of Nutrition said.
“Why are certain sections of society resisting bio technology. Even in
Europe, where the anti-GM debate originated, more and more countries like
Spain, France and Italy have taken to GM technology,” Sesikeran told a
panel discussion on agriculture and technology organized by
IndoAsiancommodities.com in city on
He said certain European countries could afford to resist and debate it
but an agriculture-based country like India cannot do it as w ith this
technology, if millions of lives could be saved, even with a small bit of
risk it should be adopted.
Referring to safety aspects of GM technology, Sesikeran, who has done
exztensive research on nutritional pathology, said there was no adverse
evidence or ill effects of GM foods in the countries where they are being
“North America and South America adopted this technology in the 1990s and
if any proof is needed then here is a history of safe human usage.” he
Sesikeran said the shelf life of several food products, vegetables, fruits
and perishables can be increased with the use of genetically modified
Asserting that doubts raised in certain quarters over the use of GM
technology do not have any scientific base, Sesikeran said the country
should accept it to improve productivity, for farm prosperity and feed the
He said trials were continuing on several GM vegetables but the process of
introducing this technology had slowed down due to protests and
He said in the rain-dependant country , where even two successive failure
of the monsoon can create havoc with availability of grains,
pulses,oilseeds and other essential commodities, technology was of
Sesikeran said while the green revolution of the 1960s took care to look
at the country’s food security needs, it did not give enough attention to
health and nutrition.
“We now need new technology in agriculture to bring micronutrient foods by
using fortified cereals that can address the problem of malnutrition,” he
He said technology was needed to step up production of pulses, which is a
rich source of protein.
Participating in the discussion, Dr Dwarkesh Parihar, Chief Scientist with
Shriram Bioseed Genetics, said there was no doubt about this technology in
the minds of scientists though unsubstantiated reports still try to malign
He said emotional issues were being used to keep the benficial technology
away from farmers and consumers.
Listing the benefits like far higher yields, better food security and
reduced use of dangerous chemicals, Parihar said there was need to
understand the science behind the technology and appreciate its long term
Raghava Rao, Managing Director, Kohinoor Hatcheries Ltd, said technology
was essential for the well being of the farmer and required to increase
the per hectare productivity.
He said technology should be employed to disseminate the right information
at the right time to the farmer. It should be used to assess why there
were wild fluctuations in price of commodities, like in the recent case of
soybean or earlier cotton.
“Ultimately it is the farmer who is in distress because of the frequent
changes in price spiral,” he said.
The discussion on Agriculture and Technology, the fourth in the series,
was organized by IndoAsiancommodities.com, a website wholly devoted to
agriculture, metals and technology. The earlier workshops were held in
Jaipur, Bhopal and Ahmedabad.