The Indian regulatory system needs to be efficient and fool-proof without slowing down the release process and transparent procedures for testing, clearance and monitoring genetically-modified (GM) crops, according industry experts at the one-day seminar on ‘Technology as a driver for agriculture growth: ensuring farm prosperity’ organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Hyderabad.
“Many of the first-generation GM crops subjected to debate on deregulation and elaborate biosafety tests should not have been treated in such a way in the first place,” a senior official said.
The Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India (BRAI) should quickly clear the process. The government should take a stand on the genetically-modified organism (GMO) of national importance as they will be key in dealing with nutritional security, SVR Rao, vice-president (strategy and planning), Nuziveedu Seeds Limited (NSL), said today.
India has less than four per cent of the world's arable land, while it has to feed 18 per cent of the global population. In this regard, GM crops are the need of the hour in the country in order to sustain itself from food security issues, the experts said.
It is essential to focus on how food and feed production can be enhanced without any price rise or inflation. These can be through using advanced technology, for which biotech crops and their public acceptance holds the key, the experts said.
Addressing the gathering, P Anand Kumar, project director of National Research Centre on Plant Biotechnology, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), said, “GM crops promise more production and food security.”
GM technology is being attacked by the activists."There is a logjam in the regulatory system since two years. Efforts should be on bringing back the industry confidence with a predictable, transparent science-based regulatory regime, said Dheeraj Pant, director (regulatory affairs), Monsanto.