Noting that the country's population is estimated to be around 1.53 billion by 2030, exceeding even that of China, he said that ensuring food security in the face of rapid growth in population is a challenge.
    
Anwar was speaking at the inauguration of the three-day World Agriculture Forum Congress 2013 and Agri Tech Trade Fair in Hyderabad.
    
Highlighting the scarce nature of water as a resource, he said, "Watershed management, rain-water harvesting and ground water recharge should be promoted for judicious use of existing resource and its conservation."
    
Stating that climate change could adversely impact agriculture yield in the country in the coming years, he said steps need to be taken to mitigate it.
    
"Biotechnology would help in promoting productivity but the technology is a contentious one and hence, there is need for a healthy debate on the issue," he said.
    
A robust regulatory mechanism for evaluation of genetically modified crops should be in place to address all the issues raised over their use, he said.
    
The Minister urged the scientific community to make efforts to give greater clarity to the public on biotechnology and its use.

(Agencies)

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