New Delhi: The government is planning to set up a National Agricultural Bio-security System soon based on the recommendations of the farmers’ commission headed by eminent scientist MS Swaminathan.
“The threat to the bio-security of the country has increased in recent times on account of rising international trade and emergence of trans-boundary diseases of plants and animals (such as Ug-99 and avian influenza),” an official statement said.
The introduction of genetically-modified organisms and climate change also have the potential to create new diseases, it said, adding that bio-terrorism, too, is evolving as a potent threat.
The government is also taking other steps to enhance the safety of plants and animals from diseases, pests and other threats.
As part of the initiatives to boost bio-security, the Hyderabad-based National Plant Protection Institute has been converted into a society, which will provide it more autonomy, the statement said.
The institute, re-christened as the National institute of Plant Health Management, would be developed as the premier institution for providing technical assistance to neighboring countries, it added.
Moreover, the regulatory framework relating to plant protection is being strengthened, it said.