Friday, 1 April 2011

Modern biotechnology- Sustainable growth

Modern biotechnology is expected to have a number of products for the treatment of some problems of food security in developing countries. It offers the possibility of an agricultural system that relies more on biological rather than chemical applications. Potential applications of modern biotechnology in agriculture are: to increase yields while reducing inputs of fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides, which confers salt tolerance and drought on crops, increasing the duration of post-harvest loss reduction, increasing the content of nutritious products, and distribution of vaccine. The availability of these products could only play an important role in reducing hunger and improving food security, but also have the opportunity to address some health problems in the developing world.

The achievement of higher expected returns in developing countries can contribute directly to reducing poverty, increasing household incomes of small farmers who adopt these technologies, and indirectly through their positive effects, as evidenced by the declining price of herbicides and insecticides.

priority areas, in fact, some developing countries have identified as the tolerances of alkaline earth metals, drought and soil salinity, disease resistance, crops and crops with greater nutritional value. The adoption of technologies to extend the shelf life could be useful in helping to reduce post-harvest losses in crops of regional importance. main candidates in terms of choice of crops for development are the so-called "orphan crops" such as cassava, sweet potato, millet, sorghum and sweet potatoes.

Currently, the many promises of modern biotechnology that may have an impact on food security could have been achieved in most developing countries. The adoption of modern biotechnology has been remarkably low given the number of factors behind the food safety problems. In part, this may be because the first generation of commercially available crops using modern biotechnology have been modified with genes unique to confer resistance to pests, weeds and insects, non-complex characteristics that affect crop growth in difficult conditions. Secondly, the technologies developed by companies in industrialized countries, with little or no direct investment in, and derive little economic benefit in developing countries.

Although current commercial GM crops are not designed to solve specific problems of developing countries, their adoption has shown that may be relevant in some countries - for example, the planting of herbicide-tolerant soybeans in Argentina Bt cotton as a cash crop by resource-poor farmers in China and South Africa have led to significant benefits for farmers. On average, Bt cotton farmers in China have reduced pesticide use by 70%, producing a kilogram of cotton at a cost 28% less than non-Bt farmers. These benefits have had a significant impact on health, agronomic, environmental and economic impact of about 5 million resource-poor farmers of more than eight provinces.

Different agro-economic studies have been commissioned since the introduction of seed derived from modern biotechnology in the United States. A report shows that the increase in higher yield were obtained with an insect-resistant maize, while the largest decrease in input costs has been observed in herbicide-tolerant soybeans.

There are a lot more research must be dedicated to finding solutions to food problems and use of biotechnology techniques in the field. developing countries have more interest in these technologies and therefore they need to take the lead in this.