GM Crops need no regulations much like conventional farming: Montagu

Calling nature a big genetic laboratory, Prof Marc Van Montagu stressed on need to to push agri biotechnology in India


Prof Marc Van Montagu, Founder & Chairman, Institute for Plant Biotechnology Outreach, Ghent University, Belgium

"Genetically Modified (GM) crops need no regulations as conventional farming and to feed 1.2 billion people in India biotechnology cannot be ignored, Prof Marc Van Montagu, Founder & Chairman, Institute for Plant Biotechnology Outreach, Ghent University, Belgium said last week at Delhi.

Delivering the keynote address at inaugural session of the Krishi 21- Conference on Sustainable Greener Agriculture- at National Bureau for Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR) here Montagu said, "India needs GM crops and if we do not need regulations for conventional farming, I do not think these GM varieties need any regulations. Nature is a big genetic laboratory and we should accept it."

The two-day Krishi 21 Conference on "Agricultural Transformation toward Greener Economy" organized by Green Agri Miles saw several prominent scientists deliberating about green agriculture and economy. Prof RB Singh, Chancellor, Central Agriculture University and Chairman of the Conference briefed about the theme. "Private sector is serving humanity in a big way. We should have a Public Private Partnership (PPP) for biotechnology. Science is not liberated in India to serve society," he said. "The country needs to enhance productivity by 40% to meet the growing need of food and green agriculture has to be nitrogen, water and energy smart, "Singh added.

Prof Montagu emphasized that scientists need to understand the need of society and they will have to step out from their laboratories to convince people about the wonders science and especially biotechnology can bring in agriculture. Prof Montagu has founded the Institute of Plant Biotechnology Outreach (IPBO) with the mission to assist developing countries in gaining access to the latest plant biotechnology developments and to stimulate their research institutions to become independent and competitive.

"The new innovations can transform agriculture to meet the requirements of food and feed of the world. Enormous future awaits agriculture and with best of science including molecular biology, target of feeding 1.2 billion in India would not be an unachievable task," Montagu added.


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