Embracing agri-tech to ensure plentiful food, say experts

Embracing agri-tech to ensure plentiful food, say experts

BHURBAN: Agricultural technology – specifically biotechnology – along with responsible agricultural practices has been underpinned as the solution to address the alarming decrease in available farmland as a two-day workshop concluded its proceedings.

Speakers at the ‘Sustainable Agriculture’ workshop said that compared to 1950, the global population is projected to increase by 300% in 2020. On the other hand, arable land during this period will increase by just 15% — reducing the farmland availability by 60% per person per hectare.

CropLife Pakistan Executive Director Muhammad Afzal explained that an exponential increase in population, climate change, scarcity of water and changing lifestyles have led to a concerning threat to the national food security.

Afzal insisted that the combination of technological innovation and good practices such as judicious use of water resources, minimising soil erosion, reducing fuel consumption and optimising land utilisation was the answer to the struggles of promoting sustainable means to grow food.

“Biotechnology allows farmers to produce more using fewer resources; it has the potential to reshape productivity in Pakistan by addressing both climate change and food security challenges,” he said.

Afzal also called on the policymakers to devise a stable regulatory and legal framework to facilitate investment and technology transfer and “ensure that regulatory decisions are guided by the overarching policy framework and scientific evidence”.

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