From a Correspondent
JORHAT, May 31: An awareness programme on ‘Genetically Modified (GM) crops and their acceptance globally’ was organized by DBT-AAU Centre, Assam Agricultural University, at Jorhat campus recently with an objective to make people, particularly students from schools and colleges, aware of GM crop and its current trend of cultivation globally as well as in India, informed Dr Ranjit Saud, the AAU Public Relation Officer here on Wednesday.
The PRO said that 350 students along with teachers from 10 schools and colleges participated in the programme. Prof. Bidyut Kumar Sarmah, ICAR tiol Professor and Director, DBT-AAU Centre, Assam Agricultural University addressed the participants on GM Crops and explained about their acceptance worldwide. He emphasized on the fact that GM crops needed to be accepted for food and nutritiol security. In all, 70 countries are either growing or testing or importing GM crops. Total 28 countries are now growing GM crops. Highest acreage of 70 million hectare is in US. GM crops that are commercialized are soybean, maize, cotton, bean, plum, rice, sugarcane, potato, squash, sweet pepper, tomato and brassica.
Globally 83 per cent of soybean, 75 per cent of cotton, 29 per cent maize and 24 per cent of canola cultivation are occupied by GM varieties. In India, more than 90 per cent of the cultivated cotton varieties are GM, which indicates a wide acceptance of GM crops by the Indian farming community. Today, India has become the second largest exporter of cotton.
The teachers from various schools said that the awareness programme was very essential, especially after the report on GEAC’s recommendation for commercial release of GM mustard in India as well as when the Government of India appeared positive towards deregulation of GM pulses, mainly the chickpea resistant to insect pests, that has been developed by Assam Agricultural University, Jorhat.
During the programme, a booklet entitled For Food Security, Say YES to GM Crops was distributed to the participants. After the programme, the students visited DBT-AAU Centre to get acquainted with the various ongoing research activities, the PRO added.