Farm land should not be acquired for non-farm use: Pawar


New Delhi, Oct 9 (IANS) Good productive agricultural land should not be given away for non-agricultural uses, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said here Tuesday.
Terming the giving away of productive agricultural land for commercial uses "a serious problem", the minister said the government was "focussed" on the issue and it would be represented in the land acquisition bill that would be introduced in parliament in the next session.

Answering a question on "the onslaught of urbanisation affecting agricultural land" during the Economic Editors Conference here, Pawar said that land acquisition for public purposes should be of non-agricultural land or wasteland.

Pawar also said that the government was taking a "very, very cautious" approach on the issue of genetically modified (GM) crops.

"The government has only given clearance to BT Cotton so far," he said, adding that genetically modified brinjal has not been cleared so far.

The clearance to any genetically modified seed is given by the environment ministry, he added.

"Agricultural scientists do the research, but the utility and effect is judged by the environment ministry," Pawar said. 



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