Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Agriculture Biotechnology

Biotechnology has the potential to be the latest in a series of technologies that have led to astonishing increases in the productivity of world agriculture in recent decades. Biotechnology can increase food production by contributing to further gains in yield, by lowering the cost of agricultural inputs;and by contributing to the development of new high-value-added products to meet the needs of consumers and food processors. These potential products include agricultural input (e.g., seeds and pesticides), veterinary diagnostics and therapeutics, food additives and food processing enzymes, more nutritious foods, and crops with improved food processing qualities. Thus far, R&D has focused on crops and traits that are easiest to manipulate, particularly single-gene traits in certain vegetable crops. As technical roadblocks are lifted, research is likely to increase and spread to other crops and other traits.

In the United States, DBCs are applying biotechnology to agriculture, and well-established firms are adapting biotechnology to their existing research programs. The ability to profit from new products depends on a variety of factors, such as the potential size of the market for these products, the existence of substitutes, the rate at which new products and technologies are adopted, the potential for repeat sales using patent or technical protection, the existence of regulatory hurdles, and the prospect for consumer acceptance of these new foods.