GENET archive


9-Misc: Pakistan, India and US enter crop biotech agreement

                                  PART I
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TITLE:  Pakistan, India And US Biotechnology Ties
SOURCE: Business Recorder, Pakistan, posted by AgBios, Canada
DATE:   11 Jul 2005

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Pakistan, India And US Biotechnology Ties

All three countries Pakistan, India and USA are building closer science
ties with each other in a range of fields spanning crops biotechnology to
overcome its agriculture issues. Pakistan stands to gain tremendously
from the tripartite planning meeting on agricultural biotechnology held
at Lahore at the end of May 2005.

It will be our first "umbrella agreement" on biotech science with any
country in the region. This will serve as an oversight panel for the
tripartite collaborative project on pro-poor and pro-nature agricultural

The following decisions were taken in the first meeting.

The collaborative research programme will be titled "India - Pakistan -
US science academies collaborative research programme on agricultural

The initial duration of the collaborative research programme will be of 5
years, beginning from 1 January, 2006


a. Breeding crops for tolerance/ resistance to abiotic stresses, with
particular reference to drought and salinity

b. Risk and safety assessment

c. Human resource development in advanced technologies with particular
reference to techniques relevant to the collaborative research programme

d. Technology sharing in areas of mutual benefit

The project proposal will contain a budget, indicating the funds needed
for common and differentiated research responsibilities under the
collaborators framework.

The project preparation team will finalise a detailed project proposal by
the end of August 2005.

Each academy will seek funds from appropriate local funding agencies for
meeting the expenses of the work to be carried out in the respective

The three academies approach international donor agencies for meeting
expenses connected with common activities like capacity building,
technology sharing and meetings of the oversight panel and steering committee.

The fund raising strategy will be finalised at the meeting of the
Steering Committee to be held at National Academy of Agricultural
Sciences (NAAS), New Delhi, in September 2005.

The Governor Punjab General Khalid Maqbool pledged full support to this
initiative. He expressed interest in organising a women's biotechnology
park near Lahore, on the lines of the women's biotechnology park in Chennai.

It is worth knowing that water logging and salinity are causing the
abandonment of irrigated croplands in Pakistan, India, Iraq and Egypt.
Pakistan had already made a good beginning in evolution of some species
of trees, fodder and crops having economic worth through application of
nuclear and molecular techniques, which are resistant to salinity like
Acacia, Kallar grass, Sporobolus, Salicornia, and Jojoba.

Through the use of modern technology, already 25,000 acres of saline
lands in the country were being put to use through Farmers Participatory
Programme under a central government project worth Rs 178 million.

Dr Khalid J Chowdhry, President, Federation of Asian Biotech
Associations, (FABA), Pakistan, said that NAAS will help to organise a
get-together between Pakistan and Indian leaders in biotechnology
business enterprises in pharmaceutical, medical and agricultural

The aim will be to promote joint enterprises in Pakistan and India.

India's renowned agricultural scientist, M S Swaminathan said that
combination of biotechnology with conventional system of crop improvement
is imperative to give a quantum jump to the farm production in this part
of the world; he added biotechnology was not against the concept of
organic farming, where crops could be grown naturally without the use of

A tripartite group of senior scientists from the US, India and Pakistan
has been working on agricultural biotechnology to formulate a
collaborative strategy to fight against salinity, drought and other
related problems. Biotechnology, which is expected to surpass Information
Technology as the new engine of the global economy; it is expected to
alter healthcare, agriculture, commercial and industrial products.

Global success for Pakistani biotechnology will largely depend on
creating the lowest cost base for innovation.

It is therefore imperative to evolve fiscal and regulatory policies that
support capital-intensive research and manufacturing, long gestation time
for product commercialisation and investments in patenting and technology
licensing and close collaboration between biotech player institutes and

It is worthy to note that there is no national biotech policy; in April
2005 Government of Pakistan approved its Biosafety Rules and Pakistan
Atomic energy Commission (PAEC) has provided 40,000.00 Kg basic seed of
transgenic cotton varieties "IR-FH-901", "IR-NIBGE-2", "IR-CIM-448" and
"IR-CIM-443" to few seed companies for its multiplication and sale; these
companies were tightly screened and evaluated by PAEC on the bases of
their capacity to follow biosafety rules.

                                  PART II
-------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:  US, India will activate second green revolution: PM
SOURCE: Asian News International
DATE:   19 Jul 2005

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US, India will activate second green revolution: PM

Washington: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday said that US
President Bush and he would soon be activating a second green revolution
on the lines of the successful one launched in the 1960s that had helped
India to become self-sufficient in foodgrains.

In a speech to the joint session of the US Congress that received
repeated applause, Dr Singh said : "I am very happy to say that President
Bush and I have decided to launch a second generation of India-US
collaboration in agriculture. The new initiative will focus on basic and
strategic research for sustainable development of agriculture to meet the
challenge of raising productivity in conditions of water stress."

"The bulk of our population still depends upon agriculture for a living.
The United States was an early partner in this area, helping to establish
agricultural universities and research institutions in India in the
1960s. It was an American, Nobel Laureate Norman Borlaug, supported by a
grant from the Rockfeller Foundation, who developed high yielding
varieties of wheat in Mexico, which were then adapted to Indian
conditions in the agricultural universities you helped establish."

"This was the start of the green revolution in India that lifted
countless millions above poverty. It seeks to take information and know-
how directly to the farming community and promote technologies that
minimise post-harvest wastage and improve food storage. It will also help
Indian farmers to meet the phytosanitary conditions and enable them to
participate more fully in global agricultural trade," Singh said.


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