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9-Misc: Call to adopt modern, improved technology to boost corp output in Bangladesh



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TITLE:  Call to adopt modern, improved technology to boost corp output
SOURCE: The Financial Express, Bangladesh
        http://financialexpress-bd.com/index3.asp?cnd=8/11/
2005&section_id=3&newsid=10075&spcl=no
DATE:   11 Aug 2005

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Call to adopt modern, improved technology to boost corp output

Agriculture Minister MK Anwar has underscored the need for adopting
modern and improved technologies in agriculture to increase crop
production in marginal land of the country. The minister said this while
speaking at the inaugural session of a two-day workshop jointly organised
by the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC) and Agricultural
Biotechnology Support Project II on "Intellectual Property Rights,
Technology Transfer and Socio-Economic Impact Assessment of Genetically
Modified Crops" at a city hotel Wednesday, reports BSS. "We need to adopt
modern technologies in agriculture to grow an additional five to six
million tonnes of food grains by 2020 in our decreasing cultivable land
to feed the projected population of around 173 million (17.30 crore),"
the minister said. According to statistics, about 27.0 million tonnes of
food grains, mainly rice and wheat was produced in the country last year.
"The country needs to adopt technologies that can boost productivity and
add value to agricultural produces, as conventional technologies alone
cannot meet the future challenges of food security," MK Anwar said.
"Biotechnology can be adopted for solving the problems confronting
agriculture as application of modern biotechnology in research and
development efforts will complement our crop improvement programme," he
added. In this context, the minister laid emphasis on developing
efficient institutional technology transfer mechanism and Intellectual
Property Rights (IRP) policies on the basis of own needs and policies as
IPR is not easily understood by many people in the country so far.
Referring to GM (Genetically Modified) crops, the minister said we have
to make sure before releasing the crop that it would not create any
adverse affect to the environment as well as health. He also requested
the agricultural scientists to expedite their research activities on the
GM crop. Referring to IPR, Anwar said the Ministry of Agriculture has
already finalised the draft of Plant Variety Protection and Farmers Right
Act to provide protection to breeders and establish farmer's rights on
protected varieties that facilitate technology transfer. Presided over by
Executive Chairman of the BARC Frank A Shotkoshi of Cornell University,
the workshop was addressed, among others, by M Abdur Razzaque of the
BARC, K Vijayaraghavan of the ABSPII and Anne Williams of the USAID.
About 50 biotechnology practitioners, researchers and scientists from
home and abroad are taking part in the workshop.




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