Agriculture Minister Begum Matia Chowdhury on Saturday said that the government will follow the Genetically Modified Organism (GMO), a genetically engineering technique for breeding process, in agriculture with a view to enriching the food production of the country.
"We launched the hybrid technology in agriculture after the Awami League government came to power in 1996... in the same way, we will go for GMO technology to boost up our production under the phenomenon of increasing population and gradually shrinking of arable land of the country", said the minister as the chief guest while speaking at a seminar held at Khamarbari in the capital.
Matia said the people are now eating vegetables round the year which is the result of introducing hybrid technology in agriculture sector, adding that "but we had to face criticism for introducing this technology."
Simultaneously, the country must introduce GMO in food production by implementing proper bio-security rules as the technology could not do any harm for the people, she pointed out.
Bangladesh Agricultural Journalists and Activists Federation (BAJAF) organized the seminar with its President Pullok Ghatak in the chair. Noted scientist and former senior technical officer of the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Subash Dasgupta presented a research paper.
Prime Minister's Media Affairs Advisor Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury attended the seminar as the special guest while organizing secretary of BAJAF Sayeed Shahin moderated the seminar. President of Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ) Manjurul Islam Bulbul and General Secretary of the Jatiya Press Club (JPC) Quamrul Islam Chowdhury also spoke.
Matia said the government will also give emphasis on the variety development of Aus and Aman as there is huge scope to develop of these two local varieties. "After introduction of deep tube-well, we had given priority to boro cultivation for three decades in the country's northern region," the minister said adding that now crisis has been arisen to boro cultivation due to gradual depletion of groundwater.
Under the phenomena, the government has already taken decision to shift crop agriculture to the southern region, said the minister. Terming the country's economy as agro-based one, Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury said the country should enhance research activities for more yield in limited lands.
Agri scientists, officials of agriculture ministry, representatives from government and non-government organizations, among others, took part in the seminar.