Biotechnology research helps to mitigate climate change on staple food production: FTO coordinator  

ISLAMABAD-Pakistan, as one of the countries most vulnerable to climatic effects, always faces risk to its food production capability and research in the field of biotechnology around the world is helping mitigate the effects of climate change on staple foods production. Speaking at a seminar on “Use of Biotechnology to boost Agri production” on Sunday, Coordinator to Federal Tax Ombudsman Meher Kashif Younis said Biotechnology helps increase the yield per acre of staple foods. It helps in the production of genetically modified (GM) seeds that give higher yields than conventional seeds under the same conditions. The yield of major staple foods in Pakistan is not in line with the demand as per hectare yield of wheat is 3 tonnes, he added. Kashif said the use of biotechnology can address food security in Pakistan to a great extent as food insecurity in Pakistan is a long-standing problem causing a lot of stress for the government to cope with. Prioritising the use of biotechnology in the country can resolve the supply shortages of staple foods, he added. Meher said biotechnology techniques can be instrumental in producing heat or drought-resilient seeds of staple foods that will also lessen the country’s dependence on pesticides. Pakistan imports staple foods especially at times of natural calamity like the recent floods. With the rising population in Pakistan, the demand for staple food is increasing continuously. It’s time to prioritise biotechnology so that the gains from science can be accrued for the collective benefit of the people, he concluded.

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