UNITED NATIONS   At a recent session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (csd), scientists, non-governmental organisations (ngo), farmers and industrialists discussed various farming methods that can maximise agricultural production. The session was held at the un headquarters in New York. Scientists and ngo groups presented data in front of government delegates. According to them biotechnology solutions cause more problems than they solve and ecological methods are the best.

Miguel Altieri, a well known Chilean scientist, said that modern chemical based agriculture lead to problems like losses due to pest attacks, soil erosion and destruction of soil fertility by chemicals. He warned that use of genetically modified crops might have serious consequences on human health.

Citing examples from the us, Mexico, Peru and Chile, he stated the ecological, chemically free and biotech-free farming can lead to high production. Representatives of some farmers groups also spoke up against biotechnology.

An Indian farmers group leader asked for a suspension on the use of genetically modified seeds until scientists came to an agreement on its merits and demerits. But some farmers felt that though organic farming has got a lot of advantages they should not be prevented from trying biotech methods. CSD Chairperson, Juan Mayr concluded the session by saying that ecologically sound production patterns were the need of the day.

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