- Created on Sunday, 16 September 2012 19:37
Natural resources such as water and land are under pressure as the world’s population grows by 210,000 every day and is projected to rise to seven billion by 2013 and eight billion by 2030.
Agricultural biotechnology can help farmers feed the world's growing population, while minimizing impacts on the global environment. In 2007, 12 million farmers in 23 countries – 12 developing and 11 industrialized – planted biotech crops, primarily soybeans, maize, cotton and canola. Eleven million of them were small or resource-poor farmers in developing countries. After more than a decade of use on over a billion acres worldwide, agricultural biotechnology continues to provide economic and environmental benefits for today and tomorrow, as well as a solid record of safety. Here are some of these benefits.
Farming and Food Production Benefits
- Biotechnology increases farmers yields
- Simplified crop management allows for reduction in labour costs
- No-till agriculture made possible by biotechnology reduces numerous coasts as well as time spent on farming
- Biotechnology decreases pesticide use due to built in resistance to pests
- Increase in yields as well as a decrease in labour costs and pesticides leads to a significant increase of income
- Lower food prices
- Less micotoxin production
- Better shelf life without harmful preservatives
- Biotechnology can provide better quality food
- Provides health benefits such as healthier oils & fats
- Living in a cleaner environment
- Increased food security for growing populations
- Biotechnology allows for no-till agriculture which preserves topsoil by preventing soil erosion, conserves water due to less runoff and even cuts greenhouse gasses due to reduction in the use of farming machinery. To date, this reduction in greenhouse gas emission is the equivalent of removing over 5 million cars from the road for an entire year.
- Biotechnology greatly reduces the amount of pesticide used in growing crops. This reduction of pesticides is well over 200 million kg of active ingredient since 1996
- Biotechnology can protect certain crops against disease, almost like a built in vaccine that prevents the crop being destroyed by viruses.
- Maximizes crop yields which helps to meet increasing world demand for food without taking over more land, this preserves biodiversity. Biotechnology has the potential to double crop production on existing farms, preventing the need to convert additional land.
- Herbicide tolerant crops allow farmers to control weeds more selectively and use environmentally friendly herbicides.
- Bioprocessing for forestry products
- Better natural waste management
- More efficient processing
- An immediate alternative to fossil fuels
- Decreases dependence on foreign oil
- Economic benefits within countries
- Significant job creation
- Help provide energy security and diversity
- Reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 20% to 90%
- Second generation biofuels estimated to reduce GHG emissions by over 90%