Assocham for allowing field trials in GM crops

Industry body Assocham has pitched for allowing field trials in biotechnology (BT) crops, terming it as a `pro-poor` step that will help in raising food production to feed the country`s rising population.

PTI| Last Updated: Aug 22, 2014, 18:05 PM IST

New Delhi: Industry body Assocham has pitched for allowing field trials in biotechnology (BT) crops, terming it as a `pro-poor` step that will help in raising food production to feed the country`s rising population.

On July 18, the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee, that works under the Environment
Ministry, had given green signal for field trials of genetically-modified rice, mustard, cotton, chickpea and brinjal.

The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) in a paper titled
`Analysis on GM Crops in India` said, "There is a need for the government to take a pro-poor stand by allowing large-scale production of genetically modified (GM) crops.
"... Develop technologies for long-term agriculture sustainability without considering social discourses which shall hamper food security ambitions to meet growing demands of country`s burgeoning population."

The industry body also said that biotechnology is vital for fulfilling the socio-economic needs of the country`s growing population.

"Biotechnology applications in agriculture should be a part of the package of solutions to address socio-economic needs of our growing population which is likely to reach 150 crore by next decade," said Assocham Director General D S Rawat while releasing the paper.
With a view to deliver best value of the produce to farmer, the government and the industry should work together to identify high priority crops useful for the country and provide necessary policy support, Rawat added.