Modi bets on GM crops for second green revolution | Reuters

On a fenced plot not far from Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s home, a field of mustard is in full yellow bloom, representing his government’s reversal of an effective ban on field trials of genetically modified (GM) food crops.

A scientist points to a patch of genetically modified (GM) rapeseed crop under trial in New Delhi February 13, 2015. REUTERS-Anindito Mukherjee

The GM mustard planted in the half-acre field in the grounds of the Indian Agricultural Research Institute in New Delhi is in the final stage of trials before the variety is allowed to be sold commercially, and that could come within two years, scientists associated with the project say.

India placed a moratorium on GM aubergine in 2010 fearing the effect on food safety and biodiversity. Field trials of other GM crops were not formally halted, but the regulatory system was brought to a deadlock.

But allowing GM crops is critical to Modi’s goal of boosting dismal farm productivity in India, where urbanisation is devouring arable land and population growth will mean there are 1.5 billion mouths to feed by 2030 – more even than China.

via Modi bets on GM crops for second green revolution | Reuters.

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