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A GM crop decision that cuts the mustard

  • Published
    16th Sep, 2023

Context:

To achieve global food security and 'Zero Hunger' by 2030, adopting science-based technologies like GM crops is crucial amid climate change challenges.

Need for Genetic Improvement in Crop Production

  • Boosting Food Production: To achieve food and nutritional security in the face of climate change, there is an urgent need to accelerate genetic improvement in crops.
  • Superior crop varieties and hybrids: They are essential for higher yields, adaptability across diverse environments, and reduced resource inputs.
  • The Green Revolution of the 1960s-70s; significantly increased food production, but new biotech/GM crops are required for climate resilience and nutrient-rich food production.

Economic Benefits of GM Crops

  • GM Crop Adoption: Genetic modification of crops has been embraced worldwide, with 72 countries adopting GM crops for food, feed, and commercial cultivation.
  • Benefits: GM crops have benefited over 1.95 billion people, mainly in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, India, and the United States.
  • Helping developing countries: Economic gains from GM crops have exceeded 224.9 billion dollars, with the majority of beneficiaries being farmers in developing countries.

GM Mustard as a Solution for Edible Oil Deficit in India

  • Focus on Mustard Agriculture: India faces a significant edible oil deficit, relying on imports for 60% of its demand.
  • Increasing Productivity: Mustard, a vital oilseed crop, has low yields compared to global averages, necessitating productivity improvements.
  • Help to increase farmer’s Income: Genetic engineering efforts, like the GM mustard hybrid DMH-11, aim to enhance domestic edible oil production and farmer incomes.
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