PIONEER SEED Company (Dupont) and Syngenta have developed the Aquamax and Artesian technologies to develop drought tolerant Corn.

These technologies have been developed using the Old school germ plasm breeding techniques. Monsanto on the other hand is working to develop Droughtgard which depends on genetic modification and maybe available in 2013-14 and is likely to be more expensive than Pioneer or Syngenta. It is noted that Drought tolerant technology still requires water and thus should not be over-estimated.

Although Corn is not a major crop in Pakistan as compared to wheat or cotton but its still important for poultry industry and is also used for human consumption in KPK province and some other areas.

Instead of wasting time in cumbersome GM/Bt Corn trials which have no significance for Pakistans agriculture, nor we require Bt/GM Corn, it is suggested that regulators should tap the Aquamax and Artesian technologies and see if these can be relevant in Pakistani environment and help in water scarce/rain dependant agricultural areas.

Sabir Hussain @Rawalpindi

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