In wake of bird flu

Biosecurity system proposed

Published: Saturday 15 April 2006

The National Commission on Farmers has urged the Indian government to set up a Rs 1,000-crore fund for putting in place a mechanism to ensure biosecurity of agricultural crops, farm and aquatic animals in the country. The move is in wake of the avian influenza outbreaks in Maharashtra.

The proposed national agricultural biosecurity system will provide a model with effective national and regional quarantine facilities capable of insulating the major agro-ecological and farming system zones of the country from invasive alien species of pests, pathogens and weeds. The proposed systemwill also have a national agricultural biosecurity council as its apex policy-making body, which will be chaired by the Union minister of agriculture. The commission, in the meanwhile, has asked the Union government to look at the possibility of developing unmanned islands in Lakshadweep as off-shore genetic screening centres to check imported genetic materials for potential risk.

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