NEW DELHI: In an indication that the Centre has given up on the prospects of any forward movement on GM crops in immediate future, the NITI Aayog has reached out to the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) for a breakthrough in the stand-off. The think-tank panel has reasoned with the top brass of the RSS to consider its tough stand on the GM crops by allowing its trials and roll out under the public sector institutions.
“Those who opposed GM crops think the corporate will gain monopoly on the seeds business. Farmers will have no option but to buy seeds on predetermined prices. Therefore, we have proposed a solution through public sector institutions,” a NITI Aayog official said.
The senior officials, sources said, have established contacts with senior RSS functionaries, including Suresh Soni, who is reportedly involved in the functioning of the Vijnana Bharati, which deals with science issues within the saffron stable. “We have heard the RSS concerns and have presented them with answers. We will continue to engage with the RSS and seek a way out from the stand off,” a senior official said.
NITI Aayog officials have argued that India is spending over $7 billion each year to meet the demand for edible oil and the situations in the coming year would further mount pressure. “Domestic production of pulses has stagnated to 18 million tonnes against annual demand of 24 million tonnes. The country will need 30 million tonnes by 2020. If we do not allow technological solutions to agricultural areas, we are staying at a very grim prospect,” added the official.
While Delhi University was able to make a breakthrough with GM Mustard, the Assam University has been successful in chickpeas.