Proper biotech use can help overcome low crop yield
Appropriate use of biotechnology can help overcome low crop yield, land shortage, insect infestation and climate change challenges for the country's agriculture sector, said experts told a seminar in Dhaka yesterday.
They sought immediate implementation of the national biotechnology policy and upgradation of the National Institute of Biotechnology to a centre of excellence for biotechnology research and training.
“Biotechnology can help vertical expansion of our agriculture through resisting insect, drought, flood and diseases,” Professor Jamilur Reza Choudhury said.
The three-day international symposium titled 'Regulatory and Safety Issues in Commercialisation of Biotechnology Research in Developing Countries' was held at the LGED Bhaban in the capital where biotechnology experts from home and abroad participated.
BRAC University and International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) jointly organised it.
CS Karim, agriculture adviser, Manik Lal Samaddar, special assistant to the Chief Adviser and in-charge of the Ministry of Science and Information Communication Technology, Prof Emeritus Jamal Nazrul Islam of Chittagong University,
Prof Naiyyum Choudhury of BRAC University, M Shamser Ali, president of the Bangladesh Academy of Sciences and Mohamed HA Hassan, executive director, Academy of Sciences for the Developing World, took part in the discussion.
The speakers identified bureaucratic red-tape as the major obstacle to development in biotechnological research in Bangladesh.
The country lags behind other developing countries in using all the health, food and biotechnology products.
When global genetically modified (GM) crop areas across the world reached 282.4 million acres in 2007, Bangladesh is yet to start any commercial farming of GM crop. The number of countries planting biotech crops increased to 23 in 2007--12 developing and 11 industrial countries.
Experts in the next two days of the symposium will present papers on different topics such as technology transfer, intellectual property rights, clinical and field trials, safety and ethical issues and regulatory affairs on biotechnology research.