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Chief Minister plumps for biotech

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IF BUSH CAN, SO CAN I!: Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy picks up a huge pumpkin from one of the stalls at the Agri Biotech-2006 meet in Hyderabad on Thursday as Ministers N. Raghuveera Reddy, P. Sabita Indra Reddy and J. Geeta Reddy joi n the banter. PHOTO: P.V. Sivakumar
IF BUSH CAN, SO CAN I!: Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy picks up a huge pumpkin from one of the stalls at the Agri Biotech-2006 meet in Hyderabad on Thursday as Ministers N. Raghuveera Reddy, P. Sabita Indra Reddy and J. Geeta Reddy joi n the banter. PHOTO: P.V. Sivakumar

Special Correspondent

Inaugurates Agri Biotech-2006; says that biotechnology will give a boost to the farm sector

HYDERABAD: Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy has called for optimum use of biotechnology to make the country a leader in production and exports of foodgrains, fruits and flowers which, he felt, was the perfect way of utilising the WTO regime in a 'very profitable way.'

Inaugurating Agri Biotech-2006, the first international conference on biotechnology for sustainable agriculture and agro industry here on Thursday, he said the Government was fully aware that the winds of technologies were moving eastwards (from the West) and Andhra Pradesh was all set to enjoy such a breeze to emerge as a strong fore in agri-biotech and agro industry.

He stressed the need to bring farmers out of the 'produce and perish trap to produce and flourish situation'.

While prices of all other items significantly increased in the past two to three decades, the prices of food grains in real terms have actually halved.

Plea for road map

Asking the scientists to come up with a road map for taking biotechnology to areas of immediate application in a socially acceptable manner, he assured that the Government would put in place all the required ingredients of agriculture--seed, water and power at affordable rate to small farmers and others so that biotechnology could 'take off in full steam'.

Stating that solutions must come from science and technology innovations, he wanted them to address challenges such as whether these technologies enhance plant and animal production in a sustainable manner, which technologies were suitable to small farms? Are they eco-friendly and reduce input and production costs?

Agricultural dynamics

He said the Government understood the dynamics of agriculture and its sustainability 'very well' and declared that would not be allowed to suffer due to lack of water storage or water management deficiencies or wasted flow into the sea. 'Tomorrow's agriculture, I guess will be different-- it is not going to be just producing more, but the products must be of high quality, marketability and must be produced in less land and with less water'.

Earlier, he released a CD on rice genome sequences developed by University of Hyderabad in collaboration with ICRISAT.


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