Importance of Biotechnology in agriculture

April 29, 2018

Author: Calestous Juma, Professor for the application of International Development; Director, Science, tech, and Globalization Project; Principal Investigator, Agricultural Innovation in Africa

Belfer Center products or Projects: Agricultural Innovation in Africa; Science, tech, and Globalization; Science, tech, and Public plan


America happens to be a leading light in agricultural biotechnology as a platform technology and will continue to act as a crucial role design for countries all over trying to address worldwide meals difficulties. An integral way to obtain this leadership has-been its commitment to utilizing a science‐led regulatory system for deciding the approval of the latest services and products. All of those other world needs this demonstrated leadership today as part of your offered rising meals rates and relevant governmental unrests around the world. Failure for america to winner farming biotechnology will undermine confidence in capability for the worldwide community to confront the difficulties of food security. Retracting from using technology and technology to handle promising difficulties will not bring about any savings; it will only defer problems and future costs are apt to be higher.

In the 1970s skeptics argued that brand new technologies had been generally more expensive, less reliable, more complicated, managed by business monopolies and for that reason inaccessible to your bad. They moved further and reported that a "technology divide" would emerge between industrialized and developing countries. This ideological framing was applied to growing information and telecommunications technologies and also the word "digital divide" became a template for intercontinental debates on development, human rights as well as the search for success.

In effect, the skeptics sought to reduce the adoption of new technologies in developing nations and advocated using what they called "appropriate technology." They sought to freeze technology eventually and also by doing this in addition they compromised improvements in human welfare while the spread of success. Some international businesses advocated policies targeted at curbing the development of microelectronics in building countries with the objective of protecting employees against work displacement.

Truth has turned out to be different. Information and communications technologies are now actually a vital way to obtain financial efficiency and a system for socio‐economic change around the world. Many African nations, for instance, being able to "leapfrog" in to the modern information age through cellular phone therefore the phase happens to be set for a move into mobile broadband that'll see numerous rural areas go on to change education, health, governance and several areas of socio‐economic life. The scatter of the technology was possible because of the sovereign frontrunners given by some countries to reforming their nationwide guidelines to produce room for cellular technologies.


Biotechnology—technology put on biological systems—has the promise of leading to increased food safety and sustainable forestry practices, also increasing wellness in developing nations by enhancing meals nutrition. In farming, biotechnology has enabled the genetic alteration of crops, improved earth productivity, and improved grass and pest control. Regrettably, these types of potential features largely been remaining untapped by African nations.

And increased crop productivity, biotechnology has the potential to generate more healthy plants. A good example of this can be rice engineered to give you extra supplement A whose deficiency affects about 250 million kiddies global. Various other nutrients, minerals, and proteins are essential to maintain healthy figures, and a deficiency will lead to infections, complications during maternity and childbearing, and impaired youngster development. Biotechnology has got the potential to boost the nutritional value of plants, leading both to reduce medical care costs and greater economic performance (due to improved worker health).

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