Pawar seeks ISAAAs help to replicate Brazils success in sugar sector

Written by ASHOK B SHARMA | New Delhi, Oct 28 | Updated: Oct 29 2007, 08:06am hrs
The US based global body for the promotion of transgenic crops: the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications (ISAAA) will facilitate visits of Indian experts to Brazil to study methods of production of cane, sugar, and ethanol in that country.

The Indian agriculture minister, Sharad Pawar has asked us to facilitate the visits of Indian experts to Brazil to study the sugar-ethanol sector in that country. We will depute our Brazilian member of the board, Anderson Galvao Gomes to take up this responsibility, said the ISAAA chair, Clive James.

James who was in New Delhi for the ISAAA board meeting held in India for the first time, said that his organisation recently facilitated the transfer of transgenic papaya technology developed by Monsanto to the Tamil Nadu Agriculture University. Our India coordinator Bhagirath Chaudhary facilitated the transfer of transgenic papaya technology. We take up such philanthropic work. ISAAA has plans to make India the regional hub for the spread of transgenic technology in South Asia. We have already made Philippines the regional hub for the spread of transgenic papaya technology in the ASEAN region, James said.

He said that Brazil was number one in sugarcane and citrus production and a leader in the use of ethanol. It ranks third in corn output, seventh in cotton output, and is the largest rice producer outside Asia. Brazil is the only country to add land to cultivation - some 100 million hectare Cerrado land to be brought under cultivation.

Ethanol production from cane in Brazil was cheaper than that from corn in the US he said, and added that Brazil was developing transgenic sugarcane for herbicide resistance and increased sucrose content and was able to pay off IMF loans due to exports of GM soyabeans and soy products.