Punjab Agriculture Minister visits Monsanto’s Bio-Tech Corn field trial site
Mailsi – Vehari -2017: The Punjab Minister for Agriculture, Mr. Naeem Akhtar Khan Bhabha, visited the bio-tech corn field trial being undertaken by Monsanto Pakistan. During the visit, the Minister was provided with a detailed briefing and overview of the technology features, crop characteristics, trial and testing parameters and agronomic practices. The briefing was followed by a tour of the crop field for practical demonstration. Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Bhabha acknowledged the positive role of technology and innovation in the field of agriculture and emphasized the importance of a vibrant seed industry for the development and growth of agriculture in the Country.
Monsanto Pakistan’s latest bio-tech corn seed incorporates technology that provides protection against pest attack and enables over the top application of herbicides for significantly improved pest and weed control. This cutting-edge technology will reduce cost of agriculture inputs and labor, whilst protecting crop yield for the farmer. From 1996 till 2016 over 2 billion hectares of biotech crops have been planted by 18 million farmers across 28 countries. During this period (1996-2014) biotechnology was responsible for additional production of 158.4 million tons of soybeans and 321.8 million tons of corn, contributing over $150 billion in global farm incomes. The technology has also contributed production of an extra 24.7 million tons of cotton lint and 9.2 million tons of canola.
During the briefing, Mr. Aamir Mirza, Country Lead for Monsanto Pakistan, informed the Minister that Monsanto’s new bio-tech corn received commercialization approval from the Federal Ministry of Climate Change in February 2016, following compliance with the bio-safety rules and regulation and rigorous field trials, first initiated in 2009. He assured the Minister that Monsanto Pakistan is committed to providing the highest quality corn seed to the farmer and will continue to work closely with the farming community to ensure understanding of optimum agronomic practices, highlighting Monsanto’s efforts towards building capacity of the farmers through “Farmer Field Day”, “Learning Center” and “Agriculture Academy” programs.
Local progressive farmers present at the event were also provided detailed briefings and practical demonstrations of the new seed technology. Farmers showed excitement at the prospect of the latest bio-tech seed and urged for its introduction at the earliest. While speaking to the farmers, Mr. Mirza explained that globally, crop biotechnology has reduced pesticide spraying (1996-2014) by 581 million kg (-8.2%), significantly reducing cost to the farmer and mitigating impact to the environment.
In addition to leading progressive farmers from the locality, seed distributors and members of the electronic and print media were also present on the occasion.
*About Monsanto Company:
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. To learn more about our business and our commitments, please visit: www.monsanto.com