· With a Biotechnology Policy, well-defined plans for agriculture biotechnology in the Chief Minister’s Vision 2023, and with the state of the art infrastructure and research institutions, Tamil Nadu aims to be the hub of agriculture biotechnology Research and Development (R&D) and the State Government is seeking industry partnership for this.
· Addressing a conference on `Agriculture Biotechnology’, organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here on Monday, Mr. H R Verma, chairman, Tidco Centre for Life Sciences (TICEL) Biotech Park, said that`` The Hon’ble Chief Minister’s road map for Tamil Nadu Vision 2023 has clearly spelt out that Biotechnology is going to be one of the sunrise sectors in the State and its economy’’.
He said the Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation (Tidco) and Ticel would co-operate with the Tamil Nadu Agriculture University and the Tamil Nadu Veterinary University and Forest College in the various spheres of agriculture development. He said the industry could choose Tamil Nadu for biotechnology and agriculture biotechnology R &D with clear synergy with these institutions.
Mr Verma said Tamil Nadu, known as a “Knowledge and Innovation hub” would provide the infrastructure and necessary linkages and other support system to the industry. The State also planned to move to the Tier-II cities and partner with institutions there, he said.
He said agriculture biotechnology research and product development offered big opportunity for the full and productive employment of the educated youth in the country.
· Mr. S Chandramohan, President and Group CFO, Tractors and Farm Equipment Ltd and Vice-chairman CII Chennai Zone said that though the land availability in India to expand area under agriculture to increase production is limited there is tremendous scope to increase farm productivity.
He mentioned that apart from biotechnology, we should address the constraints both from the supply side as well as on the output side including farm extension services, credit, storage facilities bottleneck in the present APMC act etc. in a holistic manner.
· While the Agriculture biotechnology could play a big role in enhancing the productivity, our spending on agriculture research is very low compared to other countries and the farmers have apprehensions in use of this technology. Effort should be made at the grass root level to link the researchers, agri universities, farmers and the industry to inculcate confidence in the farming community in use of this technology.
· Dr M D Nair, Consultant Biotechnology, Chennai, said the growth of agriculture biotechnology world-wide has been much lower than that of the medical biotechnology mainly because of the lack of specific needs, inadequate knowledge on crops and pests, fear of adverse impact on environment and inability of the users who were mainly in the unorganized sector.
· The Conference concluded that there is a need to have effective stakeholder engagement to address the various issues of the Agribiotechnology Sector.
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