GM crops to meet 50% increase of food demand by 2050

Dhaka – Agricultural scientists attending a seminar here today said introduction of Genetically Modified (GM) crops would help meet 50 per cent increase in food demand by 2050.

“Traditional technology is not enough for solving future problems in agricultural production ….Biotechnology is being used in agriculture sector for increasing nutritional value of crops and also to meet increasing food demand in future,” said Dr Rhodora R Aldemita, senior programme officer, International Service for the Acquisition of Agro-biotech Application (ISAAA), Philippines while addressing in the seminar at Bangladesh Agriculture Research Council (BARC) here.

Biotechnology in conjunction with conducive policies can double food production, she said the seminar on Global status of commercialized /GM crops-2016, jointly organized by ISAAA in association with BARC.

Dr Rhodora told the function that the GM crops now are being cultivated on 185.1 million hectares across world including the developing and the industrial countries.

Presently, GM crops are being cultivated on 99.6 million hectares of land in the developing countries which occupies 54 per cent of the total land and it is only 46 per cent or 85.5 million hectares in seven industrial countries , according to the keynote paper.

BARC Executive Chairman Dr Mohammad Jalal Uddin in the chair while BARC member director (crops) Dr Md Aziz Zilani Chowdhury gave the welcome address.

Additional Secretary of the Agriculture Ministry Fazley Wahid Khandoker spoke as the chief guest while Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation (BADC) chairman M Nasiruzzaman , Director General (DG) of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) Golam Maruf and Director General(DG) of Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute (BARI) Dr Abul Kalam Azad as the special guests.

To enhance biotechnological research and development particularly in developing nation like Bangladesh , cooperation and collaboration research with developed countries, capacity building of the researchers are very important, said additional secretary Fazley Wahid Khandoker.

Currently, around 6,000 farmers in 36 districts are cultivating four Bt Brinjal verities— BARI Bt (Uttara), BARI Bt (Kajla), BARI Bt (Nayontar) and ISD006 Bt BARI.

Farmers from Rajshahi, Rangpur, Pabna and Gazipur started cultivating the Bt Brinjal for the first time in 2014. With the journey of cultivating Bt Brinjal, Bangladesh has joined a group of 29 countries that grow GM crops.