Contributions of biotechnology to meeting future food and environmental security needs

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Abstract

Biotechnology, including genetic modifications, can play a vital role in helping to meet future food and environmental security needs for our growing population. The nature and use of biotechnology crops are described and related to aspects of food security. Biotechnological applications for food and animal feed are described, together with trends on global adoption of these crops. The benefits of biotechnology crops through increased yield, reduced pesticide use and decreased environmental damage are discussed. Examples of biotechnology crops which do not involve genetic modification are also described. Applications of biotechnology to drought and salt tolerance, and biofortification in which micronutrient content is enhanced are discussed. Emergent technologies such as RNA spraying technology, use of genome editing in agriculture and future targets for improved food and environmental security are considered.

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