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India can do well in Biotechnology: Marc Van Montagu

PTI | Last Updated: Thursday, February 13, 2014 - 22:20

New Delhi: India has done well in the information technology (IT) sector and has the potential to excel in biotechnology as well, World Food Prize laureate Marc Van Montagu said today.

Favouring the use of biotechnology in agriculture, Montagu in a statement said: "Nourishing 2 billion more people by 2050 will prove one of the greatest challenges in human history and to meet this, nations should embrace an approach that combines best features of traditional farming with the latest technology."

Montagu, who is the Founder and Chairman of Belgium based Institute for Plant Biotechnology Outreach, was delivering the key note address here as chief guest at a seminar.
Moreover said, we always face resistance to new discoveries and that is the logical way of evolution.
On India`s strength in the technology, Montagu said, several decades back when he came to Bangalore it was small city, but now with 9 million people it has an ever-booming IT industry of world class standard. "If you excelled it IT, I am sure India can do it in Biotech equally well."

Montagu highlighted the various sustainable solutions for the pressing food security problems of the future. To meet this, we should embrace a realistic approach that seeks to answer what science can do and what society wants, he added.
"We need a realistic approach towards GMOs (GM crops and GM food) as well. We need to tell society about benefits and safeguards. It would be wrong to believe that scientists are not concerned about agro-ecology and biodiversity," Montagu said.

Citing the example of Golden Rice, he said that non-adoption of this product so far manifests `Europe`s delusion`. After a decade of research scientists developing this variety which is showing great results in other parts of the world, commercialisation has not happened yet.

"We need to convince the society about the benefits of modern agriculture and that scientists can`t do it themselves alone," the World Food Prize laureate said.

First Published: Thursday, February 13, 2014 - 22:20

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