NEW DELHI: Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh today pitched for increased use of cutting-edge technologies including transgenics to address challenges of unknown biotic stress in crops/animals due to climate change.
He called for development of biotic stress resilient crops and breeding of animals using indigenous as well as wild resources, while emphasising the need to strengthen domestic and global quarantines to prevent movement of infected products to pest-free areas and countries.
"While new pests and diseases have regularly emerged throughout history, climate change has now resulted in emergence of large number of unknown biotic stress challenges in the environment," Singh said.
There is clear evidence that climate change is altering the distribution of animal and plant pests and disease, the full effects are difficult to predict, he said in a statement.
Singh was speaking at the meeting of his ministry's consultative committee on 'Emerging biotic stresses as a challenge under changing climate'.
Emphasising the need to take immediate steps for strengthening agricultural biosecurity and to ensure efficient management of biotic stresses, the minister called for "enhanced use of cutting-edge technologies and tools like MAS, transgenic and advanced-molecular tools to accelerate the process of development of biotic stress resilient organisms."
He said there is a need to organise integrated pest management approaches and strengthen effective system of delivery of biocontrol agents and label expansion of effective pesticides.
That apart, Singh said there is a need to forge regional and global cooperation on issues related to biosafety and biosecurity, as well as global networking for ensuring availability of diagnostic tools/ vaccines to monitor invasion and spread of invasive pests, pathogens and immunisation.
Singh asked the officials to incorporate the suggestions given by the members on the issue and speed up the research on pest control and pesticides, among other areas.
Two Ministers of State for Agriculture Parshottam Rupala and Sudarshan Bhagat, Indian Council of Agricultural Research DG Trilochan Mohaptra, five MPs and other senior ministry officials were present at the meeting.