Iran Planning 200,000 hectares of GM Rice
FAO Funding $6 Mln Worth of Projects in Iran
LONDON ó United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is implementing several projects worth a total of $6 mln in Iran, said the FAO country director in this northwestern city.
According to ISNA, Dr. Abdur Rashid further said during his visit to Zanjan to become acquainted with the challenges facing the farmers in this cold area that FAO-sponsored projects could also be implemented in this province given its strategic importance to the western Iranís agriculture economy.
He said FAO is implementing 25 agro projects in Iran in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture Jihad.
The FAO official discussed a range of issues including the possibility of further promoting irrigated farming as well as an increase in the use of genetically-modified seeds with local agricultural authorities.
Environmental groups in Iran are strongly against the use of genetically-modified seeds.
The Department of Environment (DoE), the main environmental body, has voiced angry opposition to plans by agriculture officials to bring 200,000 hectares under cultivation of GM rice.
Iran has announced plans for increasing the area under cultivation of genetically modified rice in a bid to boost production with the help of nanotechnology.
However, environmental activists say genetically modified rice would damage the environment, destroy traditional rice farming and cause health hazards.
source: http://www.iranmania.com/News/ArticleView/Default.asp?NewsCode=30401&NewsKin 23mar2005