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Crop output in Kharif may break all records this season: Tariq Anwar
While asking the seed companies to price judiciously, Tariq Anwar, Minister of State, Agriculture & Food Processing Industries said India is likely to achieve 'bumper production' of Kharif crops including rice this season due to good monsoon.

“The figures are indicating that sowing operations are in full swing. By and large, rains seem to be good in most parts of the country. If this continues, India will be a major producers in most crops”, said Tariq Anwar while inaugurating a conference on ‘Bio-Agri 2013 Summit,’ organized by the apex industry body Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).

“I would request the companies to be judicious in pricing of their product. They should always keep in mind that long term interest of the consumer is in their interest too. The matter related to pricing of seeds as it played out in the state of Andhra Pradesh recently is a case in point”, said Anwar according to the statement by the ASSOCHAM. 

The minister said that regulations governing GM crops can potentially act at a number of key stages. Regulation related to research and development stage would typically involve conditions under which laboratory experiments take place, testing of the characteristic which the transgene is expected to introduce.

Also issue related to ensuring research and development stage, there is no scope for the GM crops affecting Non-GM crops in India, added the Minister of state.

“We need to have clearly established protocols and systems through which we can come to definite conclusions about long term safety of GM crops. The scientific community needs to come together to develop systems of procedures through which risk assessment can be done objectively”, mentioned Anwar.

He further said that the development of GM crops is a time taking exercise which requires tremendous investment and research. It cannot be denied that strong patent regime is important for sustaining required incentive for investment in Biotech Research. 

He also said that the biggest challenge which the country would be facing in the coming years shall be how to ensure food security in the face of constantly growing population. It is estimated that Indian population shall be 1.53 billion, thus exceeding China’s population, by 2030 as against 1.2 billion presently. The country would need much higher food production not only to cater to higher population but also to meet much higher per capita demand due to higher expected levels of income in years to come.

The total foodgrain production in China touched 570 MT in 2012 as compared to 250 MT in India in 2011-12, while the arable land in both the countries is almost the same at around 140 Million Hectares each, So, we need to improve our productivity levels quite significantly in years to come to achieve food security, said Anwar.

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