Lawmakers lack knowledge of biotech: Minister

Lawmakers lack knowledge of biotech: Minister

 A majority of lawmakers keen on farmers’ welfare lack knowledge of the pros and cons of biotechnology and end up making decisions influenced by vested interests, said Minister of State for Agriculture, C Krishna Byre Gowda.

“There is a great need for creating awareness on biotechnology. Since lawmakers are unaware of the advantages and disadvantages of biotechnology, they often arrive at wrong conclusions, under the influence of vested groups. People from a cross section of society - farmers, industrialists, ministers, officials - should come together on a common platform for a discussion on biotechnology,” the minister said.

Gowda was speaking at the inauguration of the two-day national conference on agri-biotechnology on Tuesday. The event has been organised under the theme ‘Biotechnology, a versatile tool for agriculture in the emerging context.”

The minister said very few people know that 95 per cent of the cotton grown in India is of Bt variety and the yield is good.

Chairperson and Managing Director of Biocon Limited, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, said new technology should be leveraged to boost farm production and, in turn, achieve national development. A lot of understanding about genes has been acquired over the past two decades, which helps in enhancing the crop yield. The second agricultural revolution will be led by biotechnology, she said.

K Narayana Gowda, Vice Chancellor of University of Agriculture Sciences, was present.

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