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Experts warned have warned the government about famine and food crisis in near future. – Reuters Photo

KARACHI: Biotechnology experts have cautioned the government that there is a threat of a widespread famine and hunger in the country and said that national sovereignty is linked to food security.

We need wise and visionary leadership as with the massive population increase our nation is leading towards a widespread famine and hunger, they said stating that biotechnology approach for rapid agriculture development and healthcare cannot be ignored.

Speaking at a joint press conference at the International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), Karachi University (KU), on Saturday evening,

COMSTECH Adviser on Science Prof. Dr. Anwar Nasim and Director ICCBS Prof. Dr. M. Iqbal Choudhary said that Pakistan is missing the opportunity of using biotechnology approach for rapid agriculture development and healthcare.

Due to backwardness in the technological side, the agriculture productivity of Pakistan is among the lowest in the world and no one seems to be worried about this. Pakistan is faced with serious food security issues whereas Pakistan has no major investment made in this field, Dr. Anwar said.

Prof. Dr. M. Iqbal Choudhary said that to complement the efforts of the Government of Pakistan, they have setup the PABIC at the LEJ Science Information Center. He said that there is dire need to use Biotechnology appropriately, which has the potential to provide healthier foods, reduce dependence on fossil fuel, and offer more effective cure of prevalent diseases.

Dr. Saifullah Khan of ICCBS said that food insecurity can destroy any powerful country in the world; Russia is an example for us.

He stressed the need for developing proper plan to handle the current situation prevailing in the country. Dr. Faheem Tahir of National Institute of Health, Islamabad, President Pakistan Biological Safety Association Dr. Erum Khan, and Dr. Qaiser Mahmood Khan of NIBGE also spoke on the occasion.

Earlier, in the One-Day Seminar on Application of Modern Biotechnology speakers, including Prof. Dr. Anwar Nasim, Prof. Dr. M. Iqbal Choudhary, Dr. Faheem Tahir, Dr. Erum Khan, Dr. Qaiser Mahmood Khan and Dr. Saifullah Khan spoke.