The escalating protests over GM crops have turned India's agricultural research clock back by more than a decade
Earth Day is today and we at BioSpectrum want to join the rest of the world in celebrating and promoting the continued health of the planet and our fellow beings. This day offers us an opportunity to reflect on the Earth's condition and renew our association with the life sustainer as members of her family.
From plants to humans, life is a food web and in a country like India where 70 percent of its economy is dependent on agriculture, it is important to understand the country's biotechnological advancements in the field and how it has contributed to the well-being of the planet and its people.
For the past 15 years, the Indian agriculture department and public researchers have been pumping in huge investments in to genetic engineering of crops to make agriculture more sustainable and feed the growing population.
The use of Bt-cotton in India has grown exponentially since its introduction more than a decade ago. India has recently became the number one exporter of cotton and the second largest producer of cotton in the world. Indian cotton seeds are used in many developing countries in South Asia.
The country's private sector has generated affordable technologies for smart crop improvement, thereby providing affordable seeds not only to India but also to other developing countries.
Several Indian public sector research organizations, indigenous industry players and joint ventures have developed a number of biotechnology derived seeds that can bring enormous advantage to Indian agriculture, specifically to small and marginal farmers and consumers.