The animal feed industry has appealed to the Union government to allow genetically modified (GM) crops, particularly soyabean, to tide over the recurring problem of feed shortage.
At a round-table held at the just concluded National Symposium organised by the Compound Livestock Feed Manufacturers of India (CLFMA of India) on September 25, participants said the introduction of GM crops was important to improve yields and availability of the vital feed required by the industry.
B Soundararajan, Chairman of Suguna Holdings, said that the country should use GM seeds to achieve self-sufficiency in the feed sector. “On the maize front too, we might end up in a situation of shortage,” he said.
Bahadur Ali, Managing Director of IB Group, said the industry needs to talk to the government and convince it to bring in GM crops. “We need a unified voice to put forth our appeals before the government,” he said.
BS Yadav, Managing Director of Godrej Agrovet, felt that other countries had succeeded in improving productivity of soyabean by embracing GM varieties.
Calling for an image makeover for the poultry industry, he said there was a need to bring together the fragmented intellect of the industry and present the facts before the government for support. Tarun Sridhar, former Secretary of the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Government of India, said ignorance, misplaced facts and ideological stance of a few people had led to this situation (anti-GM sentiment).
He said the people have been consuming at least a dozen products such as snacks, which have some GM ingredient in one form or the other.
He felt that negative campaigns whenever a disease outbreak happened in the country, which targetted the poultry industry result in losses.
P Krishnaiah, former Chief Executive of National Fisheries Development Board, said that the fisheries sector didn’t get the attention it deserved.
“There is an urgent need for deployment of technology and research to develop the sector as it has immense potential to provide livelihoods in rural areas,” he said. Rahul Kumar, Chief Executive Officer of Lactalis India Limited, said the cost of production in the dairy industry was higher than that in the United States and Europe.
There is a need to use technologies like cloud data, blockchain and satellite imagery (to map fodder areas) to help the country become an efficient producer of milk, he said.
Source: The Outreach