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Genetically Modified Seeds

Genetically modified seeds rescue the jeopardized future of agriculture

“Agriculture not only gives riches to a nation, but the only riches she can call her own” – by Samuel Johnson

Agriculture is said to be the heart of a nation, be it in terms of economy, or in terms of basic survival necessity. It is the most major asset of a nation, as it is the only asset which can be called her own. After all, nothing matters on a grand scale except food production. All the other major revenue creating sectors contributing to the economy of a nation are heavily dependent on this single sector called Agriculture. This is one of those sectors where the outcomes are said to be completely dependent on the earthly forces.

Before entering into the main topic, let us consider the global scenario of agricultural sector. According to World Bank statistics, the percentage contribution of agriculture to the world GDP has dropped from 8.12% in 1995 to 3.88% in 2014. This figure is quite alarming. This is the result of depletion and degradation of land and water that are posing serious challenges in sufficient food production and other agricultural products. In countries like India, where more than 70% of population is rural, agriculture is the major source of livelihood. A large spread of arable land is considered to be a boon for this set of population. But, would an arable land alone help agriculture and food production to bloom? Not certainly. Agricultural literacy plays a very crucial role in determining the future of the crop yield and profitability. Global warming has completely taken a toll over all the geological activities, which has now made the future of agriculture completely unpredictable. The traditional farmers who are unaware of the new farming techniques are unable to manage the adverse effects of changing climatic conditions and are facing huge losses. In India, around 13,000 farmers commit suicide every year due to reasons like crop failure and bankruptcy.

But, wait! Freeze your thoughts! There is definitely a way left, even amongst all the odds. Thanks to the noble idea of genetic modification which has revolutionized the techniques of agriculture.
Genetic modification is basically the injection of better quality genes into the plant seeds or plant body, that are different from the parent genes. This is done using genetic engineering techniques which originally includes gene guns, electroporation, microinjection and agrobacterium. Also, the changes can be made by accidental cross-pollination, hybrid breeding or traditional breeding. Some of the advantages of genetically modified seeds include increased yields on same or less farming land, crop protection from adverse climatic conditions, potential improvement of nutritional value and other health benefits, reduced fossil fuel usage, and reduced costs and labor intensity for farmers.

Considering the above advantages, and thinking along the lines of the jeopardized future of agriculture, there is definitely a good scope for safeguarding the future, by using genetically modified seeds. The above discussed points are the most crucial drivers of growth in the number of companies that are making ‘Genetically modified seeds’ as their major product. Monsanto (U.S.), DuPont (U.S.), Syngenta(Switzerland), Sakata (Japan), Takii(Netherlands) are the top 5 companies in the global genetically modified seeds market. Here is a quick overview on the products offered by these companies.

genetically modified seeds market - infograph

Long gone are those days when minimal farming knowledge would help in running the business. We are now in the era, where every single process is on the verge of getting automated and modified, with technological and research advancements. Government policies and subsidies do play a crucial role. But, rather than completely depending on external factors like these, farmers should be educated about the latest technologies and resources that help them in not only increasing the productivity and profitability, but also in the reduction of workforce burden. Genetically modified seeds are something to be definitely considered by the farming community in order to better the productivity and also to poise profits.

Research Analysts at Market Data Forecast are currently working on Agricultural market. For more insights and in-depth analysis about them, checkout Market Data Forecast’s comprehensive reports in the Agriculture Segment. Also, for up-to-date insights don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletters.

Preethi Ramesh Narayan

A BITS-Pilani graduate, currently working as a Market Research Analyst at Market Data Forecast

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