India and US to cooperate in agricultural biotechnology / Reading, writing and Roundup Ready (30/6/2004)

India's role as GM dustbin continues:

1.Reading, writing and Roundup Ready
2.India and US to cooperate in agricultural biotechnology


1.Reading, writing and Roundup Ready

The agribusiness giant Monsanto will donate $50,000 to the Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC) Consortium. AITC is a "grassroots program coordinated by the United States Department of Agriculture," designed "to help students gain a greater awareness of the role of agriculture ... so that they may become citizens who support wise agricultural policies," according to AITC's website. Monsanto said their donation will support "science education and grassroots efforts that improve the understanding and acceptance of biotechnology." Other AITC "Partners," who are encouraged to make annual contributions, include the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, National Mining Association, National Pork Producers Council, CropLife America and Dole Food Company. SOURCE: Monsanto Company press release, June 23, 2004

More web links related to this story are available at: http://www.prwatch.org/spin/June_2004.html#1087963200

2.India and US to cooperate in agricultural biotechnology
New Delhi | June 30, 2004

India and United States have decided to increase cooperation in agricultural bio-technology research and development. A Letter of Intent to this effect was signed by the Minister for Science and Technology and Ocean Development Shri Kapil Sibal and the Ambassador of the United States to India Mr. David C Mulford.

The Department of Biotechnology of the Government of India and the United States Agency for International Development of the United States of America are the coordinators of the two countries respectively. The programme will encourage the creation of partnership to bring together India and US institutions to pursue agricultural biotechnology research projects of mutual interest including technology development, technology diffusion, biosafety and related policy activities. The programme is also expected to include joint workshops, conferences, scientific exchanges and training of the scientists. Collaborative activities shall be subject to the laws and regulations of each country and funding may come from a variety of sources on both sides.

The overcharging objective of the programme is to increase the range of safe and environmentally sound technological options available to the producers and consumers of agricultural products. The focus of this collaborative effort will be on improving productivity as well as nutritional quality of our crops. Currently drought salinity and extreme temperature conditions are experienced by crops grown in arid and semi-arid regions and these are some of the most critical factors affecting agricultural production. Specific research projects to address these issues will be developed. The technologies to be used to achieve the goals will be an appropriate mix of traditional plant breeding approaches and modern biotechnologies. It is envisaged that the specific programmes to be developed will be guided by the policies and practices recommended by the National Agriculture Biotechnology policies of the partner countries with emphasis on the interest of farmers, consumers and the environment.

Shri Sibal said that the main objective of this agreement is to develop pest resistant agricultural produce and to improve food production in the country. The critical focus will be on the production of rice and wheat. Mr. Mulford highlighted the relationship between the two countries and said that this comprehensive agreement will go a long way in helping India to increase its food production. (PIB)

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