Biotechnology in agriculture

By Agropedia on 15 Aug 2018 | read

Modern biotechnology  includes an array of tools for introducing or deleting a particular gene or genes to produce plants, animals and micro-organisms with novel traits. This kind of genetic manipulation is called "genetic engineering" and the product is a genetically modified organism, or GMO. Both traditional and modern biotechnologies result in plants, animals and micro-organisms with combinations of genes that would not have come about without human intervention. It has to be emphasized, however, that biotechnology includes a range of techniques and products, and GMOs are but one of them. With the increasingly limited amount of new land available to agriculture, modern biotechnologies could complement and improve the efficiency of traditional selection and breeding techniques to enhance agricultural productivity

These new tools offer new opportunities for solving agricultural problems where traditional techniques have failed. Genetically modified products are usually developed and used for large-scale commercial interests, and with a few exceptions, small-scale farmers have so far not benefited from the technology.