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Food and Agriculture Biotechnology - Improving the Crops and Products Produced

written by: •edited by: Laurie Patsalides•updated: 6/30/2008

The food and agricultural applications of biotechnology are ever increasing and continue to yield positive results in the crops and products produced.

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    In addition to the medicinal applications of biotechnology, there is also a vast amount of uses for biotechnology in the agricultural and farming industries. Using the methods of biotechnology, it is possible to transfer one or two genes of a crop into a highly developing crop to create a new product that would continue to increase the yield of the crop. It is important to keep in mind that crop yield increases are some of the most apparent uses of biotechnology as well as a very difficult one to achieve.

    The current techniques of genetic engineering actually work best and are more effective when controlled by a single gene. Currently, many of the characteristics of the genes associated with producing yields and increased growth are really controlled by a large number of genes to which each of them has only a minimal effect of the overall production of the crop yield. This indicates that there is still a lot of work and a lot of improvements to be made in this application of biotechnology.

    In addition, there are other benefits of using biotechnology applications in agricultural and farming industries include the following:

        Reduced vulnerability of crops due to environmental stress
        Increased nutritional value and quality of the various food crops affected by biotechnology applications
        Improved taste and overall appearance and texture of the crop foods
        Reduced dependence on inorganic compounds such as fertilizers, agrochemicals and pesticides

    With all of these being very strong and viable reasons to continue using biotechnology applications for agriculture, it is worth the additional research and studies that need to be done to perfect the science. Although some of the biotechnology applications used in the agricultural industry are difficult to hone in on and use, the overall potential of benefits are well worth the additional work and time.

    The reduction of expensive and invasive methods currently used by farmers are reason enough to pursue improving the applications of biotechnology for agriculture. The crop yields and quality of the crop yields can continue to improve while the dependency on the farmers for needing to use chemicals and unsafe agents can continue to decrease. This makes the use of biotechnology applications very impressive and stresses the importance of being able to create crop yields that produce quantity and quality foods and products on a consistent basis.