Biotechnology Key To Address Food Security In Pakistan: Experts
Food security in Pakistan can be greatly improved through the use of biotechnology, according to an expert in agriculture.
Food security in Pakistan can be greatly improved through the use of biotechnology, according to an expert in agriculture. Pakistan has a long history of food insecurity, which puts a lot of strain on the government.
According to Dr. Javed Ahmed, Director of the Ayub Agricultural Research Institute, “prioritising the use of biotechnology in the country can resolve the supply shortages of staple foods.”
The foods that are regularly consumed are referred to as staple foods. They contribute significantly to the total amount of energy that households consume through food consumption. Wheat, maize, potatoes, cereals, and sugarcane are examples of staple foods.
Biotechnology increases the output of staple foods per acre. It facilitates the creation of genetically modified (GM) seeds, which produce greater yields under identical conditions than conventional seeds, the expert said. In Pakistan, the yield of the main staple foods does not match the demand.
According to a report by the Pakistan Agricultural Research Centre, the yield of wheat per hectare is 3 tonnes (PARC).
Pakistan’s ability to produce food is constantly at risk because it is one of the nations most susceptible to climatic effects.
Global biotechnology research is assisting in reducing the impact of climate change on the production of staple foods. According to Dr. Javed, biotechnology techniques can be useful in creating seeds for staple foods that are resistant to heat or drought.
He claimed that in order to help the needy people meet their food consumption needs, the government primarily relies on subsidies and social safety programmes. It comes at a significant cost to the exchequer in light of the current financial crisis.
“The reliance on pesticides in the nation will decline thanks to biotechnology. It is possible to replace pesticides with hybrid seeds that can withstand pest attacks,” the scientist claimed.
Dr. Javed also emphasised the value of biotechnology in lowering food imports. Pakistan imports basic foods, particularly during natural disasters like the recent floods. According to him, solving the problems with the supply of staple foods will probably prevent the loss of reserves.
Pakistan’s population growth has led to an ongoing rise in demand for basic foods. It is time to give biotechnology top priority so that the benefits of science can be reaped for the benefit of all people.