Pawar favours introducing GM crops in India

Last Updated: Sat, Dec 04, 2010 12:40 hrs

Chandigarh, Dec 4 (IANS) Ignoring criticism from various quarters, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar Saturday strongly favoured the introduction of Genetically Modified (GM) food crops in the country to ensure food security.

Pawar, who was here to inaugurate the ninth edition of Agro Tech 2010, said that GM food crops are necessary to meet the increasing demand of food grains and new challenges of agriculture in the country.

'If we want to achieve 100 percent food security, under the proposed National Food Security bill, then we will require quality seeds that can yield good crops. It does not matter whether the seeds are hybrid or GM,' Pawar told reporters.

Pawar also indirectly condemned the people who are against GM crops.

'We have to increase the farm production and that requires introduction of new technologies. There are many people who always think otherwise and oppose new technologies,' he said.

'Nearly 60 percent of India's population is related with agriculture and we have to take care of their interests. Under the provisions of National Food Security bill, we will ensure the sufficient supply of seeds, fertilizers, power and irrigation water to the farmers,' Pawar added.

On the issue of lack of storage facilities and low MSP (minimum support price) of food-grains, Pawar said: 'Keeping in mind the requirements, we have increased the storage facilities in the country. We have also enhanced the MSPs of food-grains and made sure that nobody gives farmers less price than the pre-decided MSP.'