Updated August 7, 2020
According to the UNFAO (United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization), for feeding a world population of 9.1 billion in 2050, the entire world will require to raise overall food production by 70 percent and nearly 100 percent in developing countries. As everyone is familiar with a fact that the population is increasing at a rapid speed which caused declination in per capita availability of land in the word. The operational farm holding in the world is declining as the population is increasing and the land is being used more for the purpose of shelter and different other constructions rather than farming. And practically, it is not possible that the land for agriculture can be expanded horizontally. So, to tackle all these problems, Agricultural biotechnology is not the only solution but amongst the major ones.
Apart from these, there is one more major problem that the living standard of farmers is degrading day by day. In this context, agricultural biotechnology becomes important because it allows farmers to improve their living standards by growing more food on less land using farming practices that are environmentally sustainable. Agricultural biotechnology is both, sustainable as well as cost-effective which helps farmers in generating more profit on low investment.
To grow the best crops and livestock, humans have been manipulating nature for thousands of years. We have guided the path of the development of countless organisms by piecing together different strains of crops or animals. If you want to step back in thousands of years’ time, the crops you see will look very different – in some cases, they will not be recognizable as their color, size, shape, and length have completely changed.
A set of scientific tools and techniques to modify organisms for a particular objective is agricultural biotechnology. That objective could include anything from producing higher yields from food crops to develop natural resistance to certain diseases. Although there are many ways to modify living organisms like molecular markers, molecular diagnostics, vaccines, and tissue culture but the method that is most likely to attract the most attention from the public is genetic modification.
Genes and Its Uses in Agricultural biotechnology.
Gene is a unit of heredity which is transferred from a parent to offspring and is held to determine some characteristic of the offspring. A gene is a part of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) that expresses a particular character of an organism or contributes to a specific function. From the color of your eyes to the color of skin or hair, genes determine everything of any organism.
Different steps can be taken by us to manipulate those traits or functions when we learn more about genes that affect different aspects of an organism. And the best to do this is to retract genetic information of one organism and introduce it into another, no problem even if that organism belongs to a completely different species. The best example to understand the above statement is when you use a herbicide to wipe out pest plants then you have to find out a certain bacterium that has a resistance to that herbicide. So that, you can lift those genes and introduce them into crops to develop a resistance against that herbicide. Then only you could use herbicides to wipe out pest plants and keep the crops safe. Otherwise, the herbicide will affect the crops along with the weeds.
Role of Agricultural Biotechnology in Improving the Living Conditions of Farmers
Biotechnology has seen to be a vital aspect in the development of our agricultural sector with its widespread applications. This biotechnology technique has created various solutions to improve profits from agriculture and improve the living standards of farmers. In the process of manipulating genes of certain species or crops, biotechnology lets scientists pick a particular species and choose which traits are to be introduced in an organism. Although it has various benefits, let’s take a look at some of the major benefits of this technology.
It Increases the Nutritional Capacity of Crops
Today, the majority of the food we consume is produced using industrialized agriculture, which is a type of agriculture where large quantities of crops and livestock are produced through industrial techniques. Chemical fertilizers and enhancers are used on large in industrialized agriculture, which reduces the nutritional value of any crop. To tackle such problems, a crop can be developed that is nutritionally fortified by using biotechnology. And, this will ensure that micronutrients can reach all consumers and benefit their health.
It Helps in Developing Climate-Adoptive Crops
Something which is very uncertain is whether no one can predict it. In such a situation it becomes necessary to develop crops that can sustain in climatic conditions that are not favorable for them. And this will enable the farmers to save themselves from losses that occur due to crop losses.
Helps in Discovering a New Breed
Biotechnology helps in making various new varieties, and the new variety of species always have more demands in comparison to existing ones. It helps to increase its farm output resulted in more profits to the farmers. So, farmers have managed to earn more money in fewer expenses.
It Increases Farm Output
By manipulating the genes of the conventional species, farmers can easily increase their farm output. It can be said that by using biotechnology, the new crops developed have the capacity to produce more output per area compared to conventional species. So, biotechnology has been proved one of the best methods in making more production from small land and subsequently increase your profits.
It Reduces the Risk of Pests
Pests reduce the production of crops, which led to major economic loss to the farmers. It means pests pose a major threat to the farm economy than other sources. To eliminate pest menace, scientists have come up with innovative methods using biotechnology to help in the elimination of pests.
Biotechnology could have a serious effect if it is integrated into modern farming especially in areas where growing specific types of crops become necessary. And this enables us to fulfill the requirement of that particular area. For example, West Bengal is a rice ball of India, it means rice is abundant in WB but other crops like wheat, Jwar, and millets are lacking there. If we use biotechnology to manipulate the genes of these crops, so that they could also be grown in WB then the scarcity of these crops will be minimized. Thus, by observing the above statement, we can conclude that biotechnology has indeed helped in improving the lives of farmers to a greater extent but still, there is a mile to be achieved.
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1 thought on “What is Agricultural biotechnology and How does It Help to Improve the Living Standard of Farmers.”
very important points are highlighted by you,overall a great article it ll definitely help me and also other aspirants keep writing