Genetic improvement of food, a possible solution to world hunger

Data from FAO, point out that the world population is expected to reach 10 billion people by 2050, which will force food production to increase by more than 70%. Given this scenario, agricultural engineers face the challenge of using and developing new technologies, for genetic improvement of food.

This technique results in the genetic improvement of food, which makes it possible to maintain a safe, high-quality and affordable diet for all. At the same time, it ensures greater utilization, performance and reach of resources.

The genetic modification of food It dates back to the green revolution, in the 60s of the last century. When the Chinese agronomist Yuan Longping managed to obtain rice hybrids, improving the diet of millions of people and avoiding the terrible plague of hunger that was occurring in China.

This work represented a major change in modern agriculture and global food production. Thanks to the inclusion of a series of research, development and technological innovations.

Technology: basic for crop modification

All foods that are currently consumed can be improved, not only in their quality and safety, but also in the possibility of developing new foods suitable for everyone. The agronomic engineering He has a lot to contribute in that sector and works hard every day to eradicate world hunger.

Well, the engineering developed in the first world gives results in the third world, where they need it most. His role is to assess the factors affecting crops. For example, care average crop yield about 22% of its maximum potential. This is achieved with the best variety, the most suitable soil and the most favorable year.

This distance of 78% is caused by factors such as pests and diseases (insects, fungi, bacteria, viruses, etc.). In order to avoid this serious decline, technological intervention is urgently needed, with the aim of modifying and increasing crop productivity.

This need is not new, but crops have been improved for millennia through genetic improvement. Selection of characteristics that will ensure an edible product, with greater production of the same.

Techniques for genetic improvement

The two fundamental purposes of transgenetics were to increase the vigor of hybrids and to modify the mechanisms of plant reproduction. So you can get: seedless fruits, changing the flowering time and increasing their resistance to drought or heat shock, or also improving tolerance to salinity, soil acidity, cold or various viruses.

Beginning in the 1950s, genetic engineering, which is a form of genetic enhancement, began to be used and expanded. Then it is transgenic organisms, and these are those whose genome has been altered by genetic engineering.

This technique focuses on cutting out part of a gene responsible for beneficial characteristics and inserting it into another to instill those qualities or, in some cases, cutting out a harmful gene and removing it. In this way, transgenic organisms with certain properties are obtained. Generally, 2 or 3 genes out of the 20,000 or 30,000 that the plant has are modified.

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