Enjoy the Benefits of Biotech Crops
Thursday, May 23, 2013
The future is always hard to predict, let alone the future of farming. With environmental challenges such as climate change, weed resistance and the emergence of new invasive pests, farmers have to live with a degree of uncertainty. Farming is evolving in the 21st century with the development and use of biotechnology crops. Biotech crop seeds have long been a part of Bayer CropScience’s business. Scientists, plant breeders and agronomists work in the lab, greenhouse and the field, to come up with traits that improve crop yields and make corn, rice, soybean, cotton and canola plants perform more effectively to resist pest attack, outperform weeds and tolerate extreme stress conditions. Over the next seven years, Bayer CropScience will invest nearly $9 billion in innovation, pursuing new approaches to sustainable agricultural production—good news for farmers concerned about the rapidly changing landscape of global agriculture.
The annual report from the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications (ISAAA) confirmed that biotechnology crops are rapidly gaining acceptance worldwide among growers. Over 420 million acres of biotech crops were planted worldwide in 2012 and they were grown by over 17 million farmers, including 15 million small-holder farmers in developing countries. The adoption rate represents a 100 fold increase since the technologies were first commercialized in 1996. Clearly, agricultural biotechnology is an important component in sustainable crop production and consumers have much to benefit from the technology’s increased yields and other efficiencies.
Here are some additional reasons to support biotech crops, compiled by our friends at the Council for Biotechnology Information.
5 Reasons to Support Biotech Crops
1) To use water more efficiently
By 2025, three billion people will live in water stressed conditions. Field testing is well underway for a variety of crops that are genetically engineered to better withstand water shortages.
2) To feed a growing world population
Through higher yielding biotech crops farmers can increase food production by 2050 to feed a projected population of nine billion people. An expanding population will require innovative technologies to encourage sustainable agriculture on increasingly less arable land. From 1996-2009, yield gains from biotech varieties of soybeans, corn, cotton and canola totaled 229 million tons.
3) To help children escape blindness
Children in developing countries often lack basic nutritional needs in their diet. Genetically engineered rice has potential to provide beta carotene, which helps produce Vitamin A – a vital component in preventing childhood blindness.
4) To grow the bio-economy
Agricultural biotechnology is helping farmers realize higher incomes all around the world. For example, biotech crops enhanced farm income in the United States by $29.8 billion from 1996-2009.
5) To address climate change
Biotech crops provide efficient alternative renewable fuel sources for transportation. Today, biofuels reduce energy consumption equal to removing eight million cars from the road. Additionally, biotech crops require less tilling, helping reduce carbon emissions from agriculture. Biotech crops also can be engineered to withstand environmental challenges such as flooding, salty soils or drought conditions.
Download and share a PDF of this information and help others enjoy the benefits of biotechnology crops.
Bayer CropScience experts recently participated in the 2013 International Bio Convention April 22-25 in Chicago. This annual event is an excellent opportunity to engage in dialogue with others in the biotechnology industry. This year, our Global Head of Seeds, Mathias Kremer, participated in a media panel called “Let’s Talk: Industry Answers Your Questions about Food and Agriculture Biotechnology.” Additionally, Bayer CropScience’s Head of Research & Development, David Nicholson, gave a presentation about “Technology and Innovation in CropScience” and participated in a panel discussion on "Corporate Venture Capital in the AgTech Entrepeneurial Ecosystem."
Check out these links to learn more:
Dr Mathias Kremer, Global Head of Seeds, Bayer Crop Science
Dr Mathias Kremer, Bayer CropScience
Naomi Stevens, Global Head Market Acceptance - Bayer CropScience
2013 BIO International Convention