Bangladesh is an agro-economy based country with a large population compared to its land area and resources. With the country's population projected to reach 192.9 million by 2025 and economic growth transforming the lives of millions, our food demand is expected to be much higher than its current growth of production. Such crop production would have to be achieved in an adverse climatic condition. Therefore, there is a growing need to develop stress tolerant crop varieties to combat climate change induced disasters like flood, drought and intrusion of salinity. Improvement of fisheries & livestock, biodiversity conservation, biological and industrial waste management, health care systems, forestry and environment sectors deserve much attention. Biotechnology can play important roles to address the above issues. Significant initiatives has been taken by the Government of Bangladesh to promote biotechnological research and infrastructure development in the country for enhanced productivity, quality and value of products, stability of production systems and environmental conservation leading to sustained food security, poverty alleviation and livelihood security. With an aim to accelerate the research activities in the field of biotechnology, the government has established the National Institute of Biotechnology (NIB) under the auspices of Ministry of Science & Technology, as a specialized Institute in Biotechnology. Soon after its establishment, NIB has been accepted by the national and international community. Biotechnology has applications in four major industrial areas, including health care, agriculture, industrial uses of crops and other products like biofuels, biodegradable plastics etc., and environmental uses. Moreover, biotechnology is not just a technological matter; its development involves cutting-edge science, political, legal, and economic variables, and external and internal negotiations and also to address the social and ethical challenges.
Food biotechnology may possibly be helpful to increase productivity in agriculture and in reducing seasonal fluctuations in agricultural productions against ever increasing demand for food and other agricultural products, global climatic changes, scarcities in natural resources etc. GM crops may reduce the environmental and health related problems by reducing the use of chemical pesticides and insecticides.
Prepared by
Aqief Afzal
Research Assistant, ASRBC