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Special tomato for Siachen soldiers
March 27, 2006 19:59 IST
Faced with the problem of providing fresh vegetables to soldiers posted in high altitude areas, including Siachen, the government on Monday said it was developing transgenic tomatoes, which could grow in the cold environment of Himalayas.
"One of the DRDO laboratories at high altitude in Himalayas has undertaken the development of transgenic tomato which can grow in the cold environment of Himalayas," Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee said.
He said the country needed a "second Green Revolution" to meet the challenges of feeding the growing population not only in India but also at the global level.
"This could be achieved by developing transgenic plants through biotechnology procedures and tools which can be accomplished by identifying the plants genes responsible for drought resistance, past resistance, saline tolerance and cold tolerance and then develop genetically engineered transgenic plants for our specific needs," Mukherjee said at a conference on Biotechnology and Nanotechnology in New Delhi.
In view of the limited sources of conventional energy and availability of vast resource of biomass in the country, the defence minister said India needed to focus its research and development to commercial extraction of energy from biomass.
"Bio fuel using plant sources or ethanol and also the blue green algae, which can produce hydrogen gas for use in fuel cell, can contribute to meet the energy needs," he said.