The Biotech Consortium India Limited (BCIL), New Delhi and Professor Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University (PJTSAU) has jointly organized a one day workshop on “Genome Editing for Crop Improvement: Potential and Policy” here on Friday at the university auditorium in Rajendranagar. K .Hanumanthu, Special commissioner of Department of Agriculture, Telangana has attended as chief guest for the inaugural program and spoke on the occasion. While speaking at the workshop Mr Hanumanthu has stated that, before implementing the new technologies in the farmers fields, the there is need to clear the concerns of the farmers. He said that, It is very much essential to adopt improved technologies to ensure the nutritional & food security for growing population. And he pointed, agriculture is potential area to demonstrate and implement the genome editing technology in agriculture sector, at the same time there is need to educate & remove the negative apprehensions and concerns of the farmers about the technology. Dr V Praveen Rao, Vice Chancellor, PJTSAU has presided the program and delivered the presidential remarks. Speaking at the program Dr Praveen rao, has said that, the new agricultural technologies which have the uniqueness must be made available to the large number of common people and it enables the enhancement of the farmer’s income. He advised the BCIL to put efforts to incorporate the genome technology education in the middle school level curriculum.
Dr RM Sundaram, Director, Indian Institute of Rice Research has delivered the Key note address on genome editing. While speaking Dr Sundaram has explained, the main advantages of using genome editing is that it can accelerate the delivery of improved crop varieties. He stated Genome editing technology is relatively inexpensive to implement and has widespread accessibility in both private and public sector research institutions and organizations. It can be used in almost all crop plants, for which partial or complete genome sequence is available and is being applied to more than 40 crops across 25 countries, mostly addressing various agronomic important traits like, yield improvement, nutritional enhancement food and feed quality, biotic and a biotic stress tolerance. etc in the realm of depleting natural resources and a fast changing climate. Further he says, the global CRISPR technology market is booming and is projected to increase from US $ 1,064.91 million in 2021 to US$1,327.27 million in 2022 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24.6%. This is according to CRISPR Technology Global Market Report 2022. Importantly, global Gene Editing Market Is Expected to Reach USD 13 billion by 2028. In the Indian context, the technology can play a significant role in enhancing the production and productivity of pulses and oilseed crops to minimize the dependency on import. India imported edible oils worth Rs. 1.17 lakh crore in 2020-21 and more than 1 lakh crore during the first nine months for FY 2021-22. Genome editing needs to be fully exploited for enhancing the productivity of oilseed and pulse crops, and also to improve the protein and oil quality and quantity.
Dr Vibha Ahuja, Chief General Manager, BCIL, New Delhi, had explained worldwide scenario about the application of the genome editing technology in agriculture and other sectors. China, USA has become leaders in the utilizing of the genome technology in the world she said. India has also initiated several guidelines to encourage the genome editing technology she added. Large number students, representatives from seed companies, faculty members, scientists, several eminent scientists were attended the event
During this workshop PJTSAU had entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Rasi Seeds, Tamilanadu. The MoU intends to collaborate in Research and Development of mutual interest on breeding, molecular breeding, bio technological approaches, crop management, nanotechnology & agricultural engineering technologies to benefit farming community. Dr Sudheer kumar, Registrar PJTSAU and Dr. Ramaswami, Chaiman, Rasi seeds were exchanged the MoU in the presence of VC Praveen Rao.