Role and impact of biotechnology in modern agriculture.
Biotechnology offers prospects in addressing problems concerned with agricultural productivity and environmental safety. In order to cope up with the ever increasing population of the current world, biotechnological intervention to supplement conventional plant breeding efforts is indispensable. Some of the issues that can be addressed using biotechnological techniques are crop production of superior quality, mass production of uniform planting materials, compensate land shortages and genetic improvement of the plant. [pic][pic][pic][pic]A few of the advantages perceived in the use of biotechnology in agriculture are rapid multiplication of plant species, breeding of resistant varieties, diagnosis and control of disease in crop and livestock, utilization of crop residues and animal waste. Some of the disadvantages are high cost of research and development, endangering biodiversity, genetic erosion and lack of access for poor farmers to use new varieties. Thus, in introducing biotechnology in agriculture, it is vitally important to study and assess the overall circumstances, such as cost effectiveness and impact on environment. Agriculture is of primary importance in the National Development Program. Biotechnology, as a new frontier in agricultural sciences, has opened new avenues for the solution of agricultural problems. The application of biotechnology in agriculture offers many possibilities for filling the gaps found in conventional research methods and is therefore, not intended to replace all conventional methods, but to provide a more reliable approach in achieving economic gains. Many new tools are now available, particularly from research in the areas of molecular biology, genetic engineering, and cell and tissue culture as well as from intensive application of microbial technology. The initiation of research and development in agricultural biotechnology dates back to the late 1970s when...
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