Genetic engineering promises cornucopia of future products—but biotechnology critics take lethal aim

ISLAMABAD: Modern technology has a pivotal role in the future of agriculture sector in Pakistan, however, a lack of awareness and proper understanding of new technological advancements in this field continues to impede adoption.

These views were shared by Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) Chairman Dr Yousaf Zafar while addressing journalists and media professionals at CropLife Pakistan organised “Future of Agriculture in Pakistan” workshop in Bhurban.

PARC chairman said that the role of media, both electronic and print, is even more important in terms of carrying a pro-technology message to the farmers, policymakers and the broader citizenry.

The main objective of the workshop was to build the capacity of mainstream media in understanding and articulating technological advancements in agriculture together with the potential benefit that can be gained from their adoption.

In his introductory presentation, CropLife Pakistan Executive Director Dr Muhammad Afzal explained that growing population, climate change, scarcity of water and changing lifestyles continue to pose challenges to food security. “Therefore, in order to address this emergent challenge, we need to promote sustainable means to grow food and embrace technological innovations that enable the same,” he added.

“This workshop for media professionals is part of CropLife Pakistan’s broader effort to create awareness and understanding of agriculture technologies and we hope this interaction provides the participants a fresh perspective and adds to their knowledge,” he further added.

The workshop covered a wide array of technological developments, including those in crop biotechnology, robotics in precision agriculture and ICT integrated solutions for farmers.

The speakers and experts on the occasion comprised of keynote speaker, PARC Chairman Dr Yousaf Zafar, Professor of Computer Science at LUMS Dr Muhamad Awais, Government of Punjab’s Agriculture Delivery Unit Project Director Sharjeel Murtaza and Department of Plant Protection Director-General Dr Waseemul Hassan.

CropLife Pakistan is part of a global federation of associations operating in 191 countries representing the plant science industry and advocates international developments with regards to crop protection, seeds and agricultural biotechnology. Its primary aim is to promote and advocate approaches that enhance sustainable agriculture in the interests of farmers, governments, consumers and the environment.

-Published in  See original article link here.