There is a persistent problem with global hunger and food insecurity. Concerns regarding the advantages of Genetic Modification (GM) of crops, notwithstanding the early excitement surrounding their usage and the promise of larger and better yields for farmers. Establishing food security in underdeveloped nations would run the risk of seeds not germinating, killing creatures that are useful to plants but aren’t pests, reducing soil fertility, and perhaps passing on insecticidal or virus-resistant traits to the crop’s wild relatives.
A portion of the scientific community frequently makes the argument that export revenue from increased agricultural yields can aid in lowering food insecurity and hunger in developing nations. However, there are other problems and difficulties that call into question the viability of this suggestion. Several crop varieties that were specifically developed through biotechnology can increase yields, however biotechnology cannot end world hunger on its own.
However, biotechnology has the potential to benefit a wide range of agricultural applications, including managing livestock, storing agricultural products, and maintaining present crop yields while using fewer pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers. The real test is whether or not we have the intelligence to capitalize on biotechnological advances. But what exactly are these remedies?
In addition to providing a more effective alternative to synthetic food, biotechnology also advances traditional plant breeding techniques. It offers an interesting and environmentally responsible solution to satisfy consumer demand for sustainable agriculture when combined with other advanced agricultural technology. More Green Revolutions might materialize as the advantages of GM crops are realized by small and marginal farmers.
In medicine, malnutrition is the equivalent of hunger. The Food and Agriculture Organization’s most current estimate is that 854 million people globally are undernourished. This represents 12.6% of the world’s 6.6 billion inhabitants. Children are the most obvious sufferers of undernourishment among the 854 million people who live in underdeveloped nations. Every illness, including measles and malaria, is made worse by undernutrition. We can see how biotechnology can help fight world hunger and malnutrition by looking at one example.
It has become a public health issue that there are around 140 million low-income children, primarily in Africa and South-East Asia, who are vitamin A deficient. According to the World Health Organization, between 250,000 and 500,000 children who are vitamin A deficient go blind every year, with half of them passing away within a year of losing their sight. Three novel genes—two from the daffodil and one from a bacterium—help the golden rice developed by scientists in Germany and Switzerland manufacture provitamin A. This rice is accessible as a potential option for broad distribution, in part because biotechnology companies waived their patent rights.
There are issues with a technology environment that is largely governed by the private sector and characterized by patent protection. Patents give powerful private companies significant influence over plant genes, which has worrying ramifications. Farmers’ income and food security are impacted if they must buy seeds throughout each sowing season. The so-called “Terminator” or seed-sterilization technology, which is genetically engineered to “switch off” a plant’s ability to germinate twice, has been rejected for commercialization by biotech firms like Monsanto and AstraZeneca, but the sector as a whole holds at least three dozen patents that regulate either seed germination or crucial plant germination processes.
Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) over biotechnology goods or the procedures used to make them may have a negative effect in developing nations. It is now impossible to employ any feature of biotechnology for improving important crop species without infringing on a patent somewhere down the line because IPRs have been owned not only by private corporations but also by some state bodies. It has not always been able to distinguish between the corporate interests involved and the opportunities for biotechnology because of IPRs. One significant effect of IPR in agricultural biotechnology is that many poor nations who have not yet made biotechnology investments may never be able to catch up.
A thorough study must serve as the foundation for wise conclusions. Scientists in the field of biotechnology are frequently highly specialized and technique-focused; tackling the complex problem of hunger and food security in poor nations may require additional expertise.
The potential benefits of biotechnology for the poor world are enormous. The improvement of food security, the reduction of poverty, and environmental preservation will all directly benefit from the use of high-yielding, disease- and pest-resistant crops. Hopefully, GM crops will need less land to provide a higher yield. This might boost global output, provide a way of self-sufficiency for developing nations, and lessen hunger throughout the world. The 13.3 million global “biotech crop growers” are 90% from underdeveloped nations. India is the fourth country with 7.6 million hectares among the 14 “mega-biotech crop” nations.
Additionally, it is now possible to extract up to 90% more oil from plant sources utilizing biotechnological methods. As global hydrocarbon supplies are depleted, it is likely that plant oils like biodiesel will someday compete with oil, coal, and gas in terms of quality and price.
Food is not in short supply; it is quite bountiful. There are enough grains and other foods produced worldwide to feed everyone for at least 4.3 pounds each day. The real cause of hunger in the world is poverty, which frequently has the greatest impact on women because they are many families’ nutritional gatekeepers. According to economists, finding a political solution to the hunger problem is necessary in addition to finding agrotechnical ones.