Questions Engineering

How has biotechnology improved farming and modern agriculture?

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Airtract

Wafa Khan

Good things take time

Biotechnology has proved to be an essential technology for modern generation development and lifestyle. It is the combination of Biology and Technology where useful organic products are reused through technology so that they can produce more extended values than their actual importance and can be used various developmental purposes. The importance of Biotechnology has flourished in almost all the sectors stating from medicine industries, engineering, chemical labs, and various multidisciplinary fields. But recent data has proven that Biotechnology has improved farming and modern agriculture of the country a lot. The agriculture system has undergone through specific changes and improvement since past 40 years from when this stream of Science has been introduced in agriculture. 

For the impact of new fertilization methods and tools, farmers can grow new crops and foods which were unknown or impossible in the past. A country which is developed in agriculture is considered as a rich country where people never suffer due to lack of food.

Modern biotechnology is so developed that the scientists create a scope to allow a cross between various breeding plants and select the genes so that different useful plants can be produced with excessive food or medicinal values. Farmers are being trained with various breeding techniques to modify the crops genetically. This improves the quality of the plants and vegetables. 

Past few types of research and surveys have excellently shown how biotechnology has improved the condition of agriculture.   16.7 million farmers were able to grow a massive amount of crops in 2011 on 160 million hectares of land.  Farming techniques have become so advanced that the reason behind the production of excellent quality crops has increased. Even the types of pesticides have also improved. Farmers are being trained how to apply pesticides and organic products and in what amount. For the growth of pure organic crops hybrid products application is being reduced. 

Areas and lands which were unused and left out for being drought-stricken and dead, are now being used extensively for agriculture. Biotechnology is the only reason behind this. The cost of food products, fruits and vegetables have reduced at a higher rate, and poor people are now able to cope up with their food costs. Even there is such vegetable or fruit which is not available all over the year or season.   

The number of agricultural labs and institutes have increased, and many units are being developed in remote villages too so that farmers can take the advice and help whenever required. Agriculture has become much more comfortable than before. Now farmers are not required to do hard works for crop harvesting due to the use of modern scientific machinery.

Airtract

Joyce X. Wunsch

Happy and Content

Biotechnology has become a boon for the farmers, improving productivity and reducing the post-harvest losses. The implementation of biotechnology in the field of farming helped in cutting down the pollution level by cutting down the use of chemicals and focussing more on the quality and nutritional value of the crops cultivated.

What is Biotechnology?

Biotechnology is a branch of biology that uses different biological tools like genetic engineering, molecular markers, tissue culture, genetic recombination, etc. to modify existing organisms to manufacture product and processes which are beneficial to humans. It is based on two main principles-

  • Genetic Engineering 

  • Maintenance of a sterile ambiance

Benefits of using biotechnology in agriculture and modern farming:

  • With the help of genetic engineering, scientists have been successful in producing crops which are more tolerant to abiotic stresses like cold, drought, salinity, heat, etc. This has helped in drastically cutting down the post-harvest losses.

  • Development of pest-resistant crops was successful because of genetic engineering. This, on the other hand, has lowered down the use of chemical pesticides for pest management. Few examples of pest-resistant crops include:

    • Bt-Cotton: Bt cotton is a genetically modified variety of cotton, developed from the strains of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which secretes a protein known as Bt-toxin that can kill insect-like lepidopterans (armyworm, budworm), dipterans (mosquitoes, flies), coleopterans (beetles), etc.
    • Transgenic Tobacco is produced using RNAi (RNA interference) which protects the plants from nematodes like Meloidogyne incognita.
  • The plants modified using genetic engineering shows efficient mineral usage, which is an effective way to prevent early depletion of soil fertility.

  • Another massive benefit of biotechnology is the production of plants and crops with enriched nutritional value such as the golden rice (also known as Vitamin A enriched rice), biofortified wheat, rice, cassava, etc.

  • Tailor-made plants are developed using biotechnology, which is an efficient alternative to supply resources like starches, fuels, etc. to various industries.

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