SAHIWAL - The farming community on Wednesday urged the government to approve the genetically modified (GM) corn, which is being planted successfully across the globe, for commercial plantation in Pakistan.
The farmers, belonging to Sahiwal, Okara, Pakpattan, Dapalpur and Chichawatni, made this demand during a meeting with the senior officials of Monsanto Pakistan, a leading agricultural company. Media representatives were also present on the occasion.
During the meeting, which was held here in Sahiwal, Monsanto Pakistan’s senior officials answered the queries of farmers and media representatives relating to biotechnology in general and company’s GM corn product "VT Double Pro" in particular.
It must be noted here that corn seeds have been genetically modified to have agronomic desirable traits. Traits that have been engineered into corn include resistance to insect pests and herbicide tolerance. It means that GM corn makes a protein that kills various insect pests without the use of insecticides. Besides, it can also control the losses caused by weeds.
During the meeting, the farmers as well as media representatives were informed that the field trials of Monsanto Pakistan's GM corn product have been completed successfully and now only official approval by the government authorities was required to formally launch the product in Pakistan.
The farmers said that both insects and weeds cause considerable losses to corn crop. In this situation, they said, GM corn provides good solutions to the issues faced by them. They urged the government to approve GM corn immediately so that Pakistani farmers could also have access to the best available agricultural technology. They also urged the media to play a proactive role for the promotion of modern crop technologies in Pakistan. Expressing satisfaction over the quality of "VT Double Pro", the farmers thanked Monsanto Pakistan for arranging such an important meeting in their area and hoped that the company would continue to take such initiatives in future as well.
It is worth mentioning here that GM corn is commercially cultivated in different countries including United States, Brazil, Argentina, South Africa, Canada, Philippines, Spain, Columbia, Honduras and Japan.
Monsanto Company is a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality. Monsanto remains focused on enabling both small-holder and large-scale farmers to produce more from their land while conserving more of our world's natural resources such as water and energy.