GM crops for growth
Apropos of the report "India should not succumb to prejudices against Bt crops" (FE, February 4), Prime minister Manmohan Singh has coming out in support of GM crops may reflect the policy makers interest in the crops but the concerns on health and other issues raised by those opposing the crops are to be addressed scientifically so that the rights of those who favour it are not denied. They should be able to exercise the option. The best we can do is to introduce some technology to differentiate between the regular and the GM varieties. But the fact remains GM crops are important to increase productivity and production and agricultural growth. In this context, your editorial, "Rural story over?" (FE, February 4) is relevant. Why should the government not aim at a farm growth of 8% or more? Along with the use of new technology and the introduction of high yielding crops, GM varieties can also help. And we have to review and revise our manufacturing policy and strategy to involve rural India in manufacturing both in production and industrialising. That should give big boost to growth while taking care of food security and other concerns.