Protesters of the recent application of a confined genetically modified (GM) rice field trial at the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (Mardi) Arau station in Tambun Tulang, Perlis, claimed that GM rice threatens Malaysia as a centre of genetic diversity for rice.
Farmers’ understanding of the science of genetics may be limited, but their assessment of whether it works in their condition or not is usually not off the mark.
Despite the campaigns against Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) crops, hundreds of millions of farmers, including smallholders, have placed their trust on such crops, reaping numerous benefits like not having to rely largely on chemicals to control pests.
“Before now, I didn’t sleep well when I planted corn in my field,” recalled Edwin Paraluman, a farmer from the Philippines. “I was always afraid that I would wake up one day to find my corn field destroyed by the corn borer. This is because the corn borer in the Philippines does not respect any season, it is always there in the corn field.”
China has approved the import of five genetically modified crops amid growing pressure from the United States to open up its market to more farm goods.
Supermarket shelves in the United States would soon be featuring the next generation of biotech food. An Associated Press report, for example, revealed the advent of granola bars made with genetically tweaked soybean oil that is heart-healthy. Foods from plants or animals that had their DNA “edited” are expected to begin selling by early next year. “Gene editing” is a different technology than the so-called genetically modified foods. It is “more like faster breeding that promises to boost nutrition, spur crop growth and make farm animals hardier, and fruits and vegetables last longer.”
The first replicated field trials comparing genetically modified eggplant varieties with their non-GM counterparts in Bangladesh have confirmed the Bt gene confers almost total protection against this vital crop’s most damaging pest.
The field trials were carried out in the Bogra district of Bangladesh by a Bangladeshi-U.S. team of researchers. The results are published in the Nov. 21 PLoS One.
A two-day Sino-Pak international conference on “Innovation in Cotton Breeding and Biotechnology” commenced at the Muhammad Nawaz Sharif University of Agriculture (MNSUA) on Monday.
University of Minnesota researchers are working with a team of experts from the U.S., Indonesia and Bangladesh to make a genetically-modified potato.
Farmer-leaders from Mindanao have signified their support for the application of modern biotechnology tools in agriculture, even as they keenly await the commercial release of “Pinoy biotech crops.”
Even as the debate over the safety of genetic modification rages on, farmers worldwide are voting with their pockets as they continue to plant more biotech crops. For 2017, global hectarage of biotech (bt) crops increased 4.7 million hectares over the previous year i.e. from 185.1 million hectares to 189.8 million hectares, an increase of three percent.
Science and economics merged during The Economics of Biotech Crops: A Symposium to Promote Economic and Financial Literacy held on July 17, 2018 at the SEARCA Umali Auditorium, Los Baños, Laguna.
The half-day event was a joint collaboration of the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture through its Biotechnology Information Center (SEARCA BIC) in partnership with the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA), International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), and the Philippine Economic Society (PES) toward the implementation of Republic Act No. 10922 (Economic and Financial Literacy Act of 2016) and in observance of Nutrition Month this July.
More than 60 participants composed of scientists and experts as well as representatives from the academe, national and international agencies/institutions, partners from the biotech and business sectors, and media practitioners were informed on topics centered on the socio-economic aspect of GM crops including the global status of biotech crops, IRRI’s research on biotec rice, the socio-economics of Bt Eggplant, and the social and economic impact of biofortificated through genetic modification.
Dr. Maja-Leah Ravago, PES President, underlined the significance of looking at the economic and financial prospects of biotech crops because ultimately, maximizing the profits of the farmers is most important. She also expressed PES’ support in ensuring that accurate information from the experts is communicated to the public. Meanwhile, Dr. Desiree Hautea, Project Leader of the Bt Eggplant Project, agreed and commented during the open forum that one of the things that will always make bottomline to anyone is economics. She added that this poses a challenge to the economics partners on how they can impact the communications discourse with science-based information.
Wheat researchers have discovered a combination of genes that provide resistance to the significant fungal disease Stagonospora nodorum blotch (SNB) in WA varieties.
Farm technology in India has traditionally followed a top-down approach despite farmers being the most important cog in the wheel.
Biotech Crop Adoption Surges as Economic Benefits
Accumulate in 22 Years
Biotech crops in the last 22 years of commercialization have brought immense economic benefits, health improvement and social gains which should be shared with the global community. Accurate information on the benefits and potentials of biotech crops will allow farmers and consumers to make informed-choice in what crops to grow and consume, respectively; policy makers and regulators to craft enabling biosafety guidelines for commercialization and adoption of biotech crops; and science communicators and the media to facilitate dissemination of the benefits and potentials of the technology. Read more
Biotech Crop Adoption Leads to Greater Sustainability and Socioeconomic Opportunities for Global Farmers and Citizens
Two new studies show continued environmental and social benefits of biotech crop use and adoption
(June 26, 2018) – Today, the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) and PG Economics, Ltd. released new studies highlighting the continued social, environmental and economic benefits of the global adoption of biotechnology in agriculture. Read more