What is in this article?:
- Indian farmer: Give us full access to GM crops
- GM access
- India must embrace biotech crops – or at least we must be allowed to embrace biotech crops. Right now, large forces and special interests are blocking the way. They must be stopped.
My last visit to the United States changed the way I farm on the other side of the world.
In 2009, I traveled from India to Des Moines to attend the Global Farmers Roundtable, a project of Truth about Trade and Technology, held in conjunction with the World Food Prize. I met farmers from Iowa as well as Australia, Honduras, South Africa, and elsewhere. We learned about each other’s work, discussed common challenges and opportunities, and enjoyed some of the best sweet corn I’ve ever tasted.
When I returned to India, I worked with a group of local farmers to open a new sweet corn processing factory. The knowledge I gained in the United States made it possible. I’ll always be grateful to Iowa and the people I met at the Global Farmer Roundtable and World Food Prize for pointing us in the right direction.
I hope Indian farmers can imitate Iowa farmers in other ways as well. Most importantly, we must embrace biotechnology–or at least we must be allowed to embrace biotechnology. Right now, large forces and special interests are blocking the way. They must be stopped.
More than 1.2 billion people call India home. By 2025, demographers say that we’ll pass China as the most populous nation on the planet.
Many of our people are already poor and malnourished–and the problem could grow worse. If we’re to thrive in the years ahead, India must adopt the very latest technologies in agriculture.
This happened once before, during the Green Revolution of the 1950s and 1960s, when new seeds, methods, and equipment transformed farming in developing nations. The success of this movement is said to have saved billions of lives.
Now we have to do it again, this time with biotechnology as one of the tools. If last century’s improvement was the Green Revolution, then this century’s innovation is the Gene Revolution. The United States and many other countries–Argentina, Brazil, and Canada–already are taking full advantage of it. By growing genetically modified crops, their farmers enjoy large yields that are the envy of growers everywhere.
Now much of the rest of the world must adopt this solution. India is not the only country with swelling numbers of people. To keep up with global growth, the world’s farmers have to double food production by 2050–and we have to do it largely on land that’s already in cultivation. In other words, we must grow more with less.