Staff Report ISLAMABAD: Pakistan can address challenges in agriculture by using biotechnology as globally the adoption of genetically modified crops has been a success with proven socio-economic benefits. In addition to meeting food security challenge, genetically modified/biotech crops offer multiple economic, crop management, productivity, and environmental benefits.

These views were expressed by the experts of biotechnology industry while briefing a delegation of the Agricultural Journalists Association (AJA) about latest agricultural technologies including biotechnology during their visit to Monsanto Pakistans state-of-the-art research centre in Manga Mandi.

“Our company has completed the field trials of GM corn and now they are awaiting governments approval to launch the product in the market. The GM corn can increase the productivity of corn, an important food crop after wheat and rice, by considerably decreasing the losses caused by insect pests and weeds,” said Monsanto Pakistan Regulatory Affairs Lead Muhammad Asim on the occasion.

He said that Pakistan already has a quantum jump in corn production after introduction of hybrid varieties. The yield increase in spring season is at 2.5 times higher whereas in autumn is 3.5 times, he said.

He also said that corn is sown on one million hectares in Pakistan including 445,000 hectares in Punjab and 550,000 hectares in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

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