Indian media criticizes government for moving slow on GMOs, cites success of crops in Bangladesh

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis.

Although India commercialised its first GM crop (Bt cotton) back in 2002, its dithering approach in the last 5-6 years stands in marked contrast to the support and favourable regulatory policies from the governments of our immediate South Asian neighbours.

Take Bangladesh, which is proactively working on leveraging GM technology for its farmers. It is, indeed, worthwhile taking a closer look at the country’s progress in this field in recent times:

Bangladesh was the first country to approve the commercial planting of Bt brinjal in late-2013, after being disallowed by India. Bt brinjal has been harvested over two seasons, with farmers deriving better marketable yields and incomes . . .

The country is currently undertaking confined field trials of Bt cotton to support its thriving readymade garment and textile industry. . . .

Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRR) recently announced field trials of the world’s first vitamin A-enriched rice, also called ‘Golden Rice’. . . .

Salinity-tolerant rice is another GM trait being developed by BRRI. . . .This again is a result of the Bangladesh government recognising the challenges posed by saline land, especially for a crop that supplies nearly 70 per cent of the calorie requirement of the country’s 160 million-strong population.

Bangladesh is also in the last phase of field trials for a late blight-resistant potato. . . . [that] will enable farmers to harvest higher yields and . . . minimise use of hazardous fungicide sprays, with attendant benefits for both the soil and the environment.

. . . . It is ironical that Bangladesh’s farmers are today growing Bt brinjal that was originally developed in India and couldn’t be released here because of ideological opposition to a technology having the potential to revolutionise agriculture.

Read full, original post: Bangladesh reaps benefits of GM crops: Indian media

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