September 03, 2021
Contact: Amy Christianson
For Immediate Release
U.S. CONSULATE GENERAL KARACHI PARTNERS WITH SINDH’S AGRICULTURAL COMMUNITY TO FIGHT CLIMATE CHANGE WITH BIOTECHNOLOGY
Karachi – The U.S. Consulate General in Karachi partnered with the Sindh Abadgar Board (SAB), the Sindh Chamber of Agriculture (SCA), and Sindh Agriculture University, Tando Jam, to lead two seminars on agricultural biotechnology and climate change on August 24 and 30. The office of the Chief Minister of Sindh provided a virtual message, and the Sindh Secretary of Agriculture, Abdul Rahim Soomro, emphasized that innovation is essential to support Sindh’s agricultural sector while combating climate change. Dr. Muharam Ali, Chairman of the Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Crop Production at Sindh Agriculture University, Tando Jam presented on biotechnology’s importance for the agricultural sector in Pakistan, saying, “green biotechnology provides ways to improve sustainable yield potential with eco-friendly use of fuel and fertilizer.” Dr. Heman Das Lohano emphasized the urgency of greater action to combat climate change in light of population growth, outlining “biotechnology is the most efficient way to combat climate change while supporting Pakistan’s food security.”
The seminars brought together community leaders, including landowners and farmers, to highlight the importance of agricultural biotechnology in increasing crop yields and in mitigating the impacts of climate change in Sindh. Every participant committed to individual action plans to support sustainable agriculture in Sindh, recognizing the significant role of the agricultural sector in tackling the challenges of climate change.
Local participants were virtually joined by U.S. academics, including Dr. Sarah Evanega, a research professor in Cornell University’s Department of Global Development and the Director of the Alliance for Science. Dr. Evanega explained that “crops are being improved with biotech to have new traits make it easier to grow crops with fewer inputs and greater yields, which is a win for an economy like Pakistan.” Dr. Nicholas Kalaitzandonakes, a professor at the University of Missouri, provided a presentation on the importance of agricultural biotechnology in sustainable agriculture, saying “we find that on average yields increase more than 25 percent with biotechnology” and companies “must know they are operating in an environment that is going to protect my intellectual property and that is going to regulate my technology in a fair and predictable way.”
For more information on the U.S. Department of State’s engagement on climate and environment, please see www.state.gov/policy-issues/climate-and-environment/.