S. Harpal Singh
ADILABAD: Notwithstanding the opposition from concerned groups for the genetically modified (GM) crops, agriculture scientists in the country believe in “gene revolution for ever green revolution.” This philosophy stems from the fact that land under agriculture keeps shrinking even while the population growth registers a steady increase, thereby causing a jump in the demand aspect for food grains and other things.
Dr. Balasubramani, senior scientist with the Central Institute of Cotton Research (CICR), Nagpur, who presented a paper of this title at the three day national seminar on “Second green revolution-necessity or compulsion” organised in connection with the golden jubilee celebrations of the Adilabad Agriculture Research Station (ARS) belongs to those who strongly subscribe to this point of view.
The senior scientist spoke to The Hindu on Monday about the research in GM cotton being conducted at the CICR that is also relevant for the ever green revolution. He however, said the GM crops should be introduced after conduct of proper tests including those related to biosafety.
Talking about the new Bt hybrids in cotton, Dr. Balasubramani said the CICR has developed the BNBt, a new variety that has recently been given the approval by the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC).
On the relevance of Bt hybrids to usher in another green revolution in India, the Senior Scientist said there can be no better reason for farmers to adopt the Bt hybrids other than its commercial potential.
“The improved yields through Bt cotton has lifted India to second position over the USA in terms of cotton production. We are a major cotton exporter now,” he observed.