Food security and sustainable agriculture have become burning issues of national interest at all levels of government as plans are being made for a changing global climate and increasing global population. One of the most important environmental challenges faced by the developing world is how to meet current food needs without undermining the ability of future generations to meet theirs. Agricultural production must be sufficient to feed us now and in the future. Evidently, the current state of agricultural technology will not suffice to meet the production challenges ahead. The most commonly highlighted contributing factors to the current global food crisis include increased costs of food production, processing, and marketing; growing meat consumption that stimulates increased demand for animal feed; poor harvests in certain major agricultural regions; and consistent underinvestment in agriculture over past. Innovative technologies have to be exploited in order to enable sufficient food availability in the future. In the current practice of modern agriculture which relies on high inputs such as fuel-powered tractors, chemical fertilizers and chemical pesticides, deploying a smart mix of farming techniques using genetic engineering of biotechnology and integrating same into the traditional smallholders farming system offer a bright prospect of meeting the growing demand for food by improving both yield and nutritional quality of crops and reducing the impact on the environment.
Many global organizations have acknowledged the potential of biotechnology to address food insecurity. The application of modern biotechnology in food and agriculture has the potential to reduce some problems associated with food insecurity. Biotechnology can contribute to meeting the challenges faced by poor farmers and developing countries. It is indicated that agricultural biotechnology is a complementary tool to traditional farming methods that can help poor farmers and consumers, and improve food security simultaneously.
Research Assistant, ASRBC, ACI LTD.