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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Biotechnology Information Center (PABIC) Friday launched a booklet on the ‘Current Status of Agricultural Biotechnology in Pakistan’ by Dr Kauser Abdullah Malik and in collaboration with Forman Christian College University (FCCU), seeking an enabling environment for introducing innovative technologies in agriculture sector.

The book was launched at a virtual ceremony held here on Friday.

The launch ceremony was virtually attended by scientists, policymakers, and representatives from the leading biotech institutes, academia, crop science industry, farmers and other stakeholders.

This booklet provides an overview on the development of biotechnology infrastructure and expertise in Pakistan and the current research details, the impediments for commercialization and the laws and regulations governing this technology.

The main purpose of this booklet is to document agricultural biotechnology especially genetic engineering related researches being carried out in the country and to highlight bottlenecks in the way of commercialization of agri-biotech products.

In his introductory presentation, Dr Kauser Malik, Dean of postgraduate studies FCCU and director of PABIC told that this booklet documents all the ongoing research projects being funded by major funding agencies of the country. In addition, brief description of ongoing researches at some of the major institutions has been presented.

The main objective is to enable the researchers working in agricultural biotechnology to know the work which their colleagues in other institutions are doing.

He highlighted that Pakistan was one of the earliest countries to show interest in biotechnology, starting with a nomination to host an international biotechnology research center back in 1981. He further lamented that despite all the early promise, the country has not fully benefited from this innovation.

PAK- EPA director Dr Farzana Altaf Shah also reiterated the importance of adopting biotechnology to grow enough food for a growing population while using fewer resources. She also urged the ministries and govt departments to support policies and reforms backed by science rather than disinformation and anti-science propaganda. She said that soon there will be an agricultural war in the world and Pakistan should be ready for it by adopting modern technology.

The chief guest Hussain Jahania Gardezi, Punjab Agriculture Minister, reinforced that Biotechnology is a tool available to improve food security problem and reducing poverty. The application of biotechnology by Pakistani farmers would not only result in enhancing productivity but would also help in addressing food security challenges faced by the country.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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