PR No. 92 Islamabad

Federal minister for National Food Security & Research Mr. Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan inaugurated the workshop on capacity building of Biosafety technology anniversary of The two day workshop on capacity building of Bio Safety Technology was organized in collaboration with Pakistan agriculture research council (PARC) &  Pakistan Biotechnology information centre ( PABIC). The federal Minister graced the occasion as a chief guest and showed his keen interest for the progress of Biotech crops technology, he said that the 20 years of commercialization shows that the crop biotechnology has enormous prospects, as the technology had far-reaching economic, environmental, social & health benefits. The rapid adoption of such crops in industrial & developing countries and resultant benefits clearly show the importance of this technology.

The federal minister enumerated the challenges faced by Pakistan in the form of energy crisis, food security and rapid urbanization and above all climate change & by 2050, there would be an enormous increase in the population of Pakistan and hence water & land scarcity. In face of such challenges, Pakistan took a bold step towards resorting to biotechnology.

Federal minister expressed his pleasure at the progress made in the field of biotech crops in the form of genes manipulations through exotic means and thereby using them into crops to gain positive results which include insect resistance, protection from disease, and drought soil salinity among many others.

The minister further said the real benefits would be attained through generating strong awareness about the practical application of biotechnology products among general public and farmers at large. It is an encouraging sign that this technology would enhance food production by 5-6% which is a great sign for achieving food security, could be attained through  motivation for farmers to adopt new and modern crop technology instead of old and less effective one.

I am glad at the public acceptance of GM crops, the example of which is the 85% under biotech cotton cultivation and other crops are also in pipeline, present Government endorses the positive use of biotechnology for public welfare and Pakistan has shown its commitment towards safe handling of GM crops, we have the Biosafety rules 2005 for safer use of this biotechnology.

The federal minister brought attention towards an important issue regarding the implementation of bio safety rules, the lack of public awareness might be the biggest hurdle in this regard. There must be the effective capacity building of quarantine and custom departments to be familiar with these principles. The federal minister said, there must be efforts to initiate consensus document over Biosafety at SAARC regional level and strongly suggested that SAARC working group on biotechnology should be activated. The PABIC needs great appreciation for conducting such workshops on human resource development.