GM Crops in Uzbekistan

by Nathan Hamm on 10/19/2004 · 2 comments reports that salt-resistant genetically modified crops may be coming to Uzbekistan.

Professor Norio Murata of the Institute of Basic Biology (Nagoya) is in Tashkent on the invitation of the Uzbek Academy of Sciences. On October 18, Murata made a report at the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry on his technology of transition of salt-resistance factor from sea organisms to genetically modified rice, tomato, and other cultures. These modifications enable plants to grow on salt lands and survive low temperatures.

For reasons that are quite obvious, the professor’s report was taken with enthusiasm. According to official statistics, over 60% irrigated lands in Uzbekistan are salt lands due to natural factors and bad irrigation.

In Central and Western regions, 80%-90% of the soil is salinized. For more information on Dr. Murata and the Institute of Basic Biology’s research, see this (PDF).

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– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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Laurence October 19, 2004 at 12:34 pm

Nathan, This seems like a good project. High-tech agriculture might help Uzbekistan to prosper…

Nathan October 19, 2004 at 12:45 pm

And the rest of the developing world too. Uninformed opposition to GM crops drives me up a freaking wall, so I’m glad to see that Uzbekistan is improving its ag sector with Japanese and American help.

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