The Importance of Biotechnology in Agriculture

Biotechnology is used in agriculture to improve crops and livestock based on DNA and its concepts and to address problems in all areas of agricultural production and processing. Let's see what is the importance of biotechnology in the field of Agriculture?

Biotechnology in Agriculture
Biotechnology in Agriculture

What is the Importance of Biotechnology in Agriculture?

Biotechnology is a very interesting branch of science that uses living organisms or biological systems in industrial processes and waste treatment plants to develop or create different products.

Biotechnology is the fastest growing discipline and broad area of biology driven by the increasing demand for food and fuel in a cleaner and greener environment.

In general, biotechnology encompasses a wide range of technologies that use living systems to produce useful products and services.

Biotechnology is used especially in plant and animal-based agriculture, the pharmaceutical industry, and medicine to produce strains suitable for survival. Recently, scientists have started working on the genes found in organisms to make biotechnology in agriculture (plants and animals) more useful.

Integrating biotechnology into the agricultural system is essential to better use limited resources, increase agricultural yields, and decrease the detrimental effects of the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers.

In this post, we will discuss the importance and uses of biotechnology in agriculture. Let's continue!

What is Agricultural Biotechnology?

Agricultural biotechnology is an area of agricultural science that uses scientific tools and techniques based on our understanding of DNA to advance crop productivity and livestock and improve food security at the global level. 

Agricultural biotechnology uses cellular and molecular biology tools to improve the genetic makeup and agronomic management of crops and animals. It is the use of different scientific techniques to modify plants and animals. Undesirable characteristics such as susceptibility to disease and low productivity are eliminated. If there is a particular trait that the plant or animal can benefit from, it can be bred using a gene that contains the trait.

Biotechnology has been especially beneficial in improving agricultural productivity and increasing plant resistance to disease. Scientists do this by studying DNA. They first identify the gene that would be beneficial to the plant or animal, then work with the conferred characteristics precisely to achieve the desired result.

There are many biotechnology techniques employed by scientists and researchers in this discipline, including genetic engineering, marker-assisted selection, hybridization, plant tissue culture, biofertilizer technology, artificial insemination technology, diagnosis of plant and livestock diseases, as well as vaccine production.

Importance of Biotechnology in Agriculture

Biotechnology in agriculture benefits both farmers and the environment. Biotechnology is used in agriculture to improve crops and livestock based on DNA and its concepts and to address problems in all areas of agricultural production and processing.

Agricultural biotechnology is a safe and beneficial technology that contributes to environmental and economic sustainability. Farmers choose biotech crops because they increase yields and lower production costs. Farmers get a higher financial return by using more environmentally friendly farming practices and low-tillage or no-tillage systems.

Agricultural biotechnology has the potential to provide biomass for food and feed, genetic modifications, and molecular tools to enhance the reproductive potential of plants.

Plant biotechnology complements plant breeding efforts by increasing the diversity of genes and germplasm available for incorporation into crops and by significantly reducing the time required for the production of new cultivars, varieties, and hybrids.

The most compelling feature of biotechnology to agriculture is its importance in helping to ensure an environmentally sustainable supply of safe, nutritious and affordable food for developed countries; and to provide affordable and easily accessible technology to address primary food production needs in the developing world.

The need for new agricultural technologies, in general, is driven by two different and sometimes contradictory social requirements: ensuring a safe, nutritious and affordable food supply for the planet while, at the same time, minimizing the negative environmental impacts of crops and food chains. 

It is estimated that the world population will double in the next 40 years. The combination of increasing populations, declining arable land availability, and the need for improvements in the quality of food intake in many developing countries mean that agricultural production will have to double, or even triple, per acre to meet this need.

At the same time, societal concerns about the environmental impact of certain agricultural practices will increasingly restrict the types of tools that can be used in crop production.

How will agricultural systems evolve by 2030 to meet these needs? How can we increase the productive efficiency of existing cultivated land without irreversibly harming the planet? The answer is deceptively straightforward: investment in and development of new agricultural technologies is absolutely essential for sustainable agriculture for the future.

Current agricultural technologies, such as plant breeding and agrochemical research and development (R&D), will continue to play an important role in ensuring an abundant and safe food supply. Ecologically sensitive and economic agricultural management practices will also play an important role. Advances in all of these areas will be required to meet global food production needs.

Plant biotechnology is especially important in this regard because it is:

  • A new tool that can significantly impact crop productivity.
  • Compatible with sustainable and environmentally sound agricultural practices.
  • A non-capital intensive approach that will benefit agriculture in many developing countries.
  • And a source of value-added genes and traits that will increase farmers' productivity and profitability.

Biotechnology is one of the largest income-neutral technologies available to rich and poor farmers alike, requiring no significant additional investment in new tools or technology while increasing yields and reducing crops lost to pests and diseases.

Agricultural biotechnology is also recognized for its significant environmental benefits such as reducing on-farm energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. Herbicide-tolerant crops contribute significantly to soil conservation because more farmers are using no-tillage, which reduces erosion

Read Also: Importance of Biotechnology in Our Contemporary Life


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