MONITORING REPOR KHI: Pakistan needs to invest more on biotechnology research in order to get food at an affordable price and the risk of food security is minimized significantly.
“Pakistan is facing numerous challenges and the situation is already critical as the number of people living in absolute poverty in the country is huge and it will worsen with the population increase, freshwater shortages, desertification,” speakers said this at a recently held press conference where they launched a report prepared by the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications on the global status of commercialised biotech and genetically modified crops.
“The per capita income consumption of wheat has dropped not because the people have started eating cakes, but because they simply can`t afford it. This is an alarming situation as the nation`s health is being compromised,” said Prof Dr Iqbal Choudhary, Director of the International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences, KU, and the Pakistan Biotechnology Information Centre.
Speaking to the audience, Dr Yousuf Zafar, Director-General of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, said though genetically modified cotton is being illegally grown in the country since 2005, its cultivation was officially allowed in 2010.
“The use of biotechnology has officially been accepted as a tool for growth and it is now a part of the country`s policy documents. Currently, 32 centres are involved in biotechnology related work,” he said.
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