How does genetic modification in agriculture benefit the food production industry?
You may have heard the saying "If you ate today, thank a farmer." Growing up on a farm I assumed that most people understood the importance of agriculture and the contribution it has to the food production industry, but over time I have found that isn't true. In today's world of 7 billion people, the scientific advances in creating sustainable food production at a fast rate by agriculturist are detrimental to the survival of humans. With farming and agriculture becoming one of the most technologically innovative industries, agriculturalists have found sustainable ways of creating higher yielding crops and foods by genetically modifying them. By 2050, food production will have to increase by an estimated 70% to 100%, in order to meet the needs of a more populous world. (Fao.org, 2018) So that leaves the question: how can farmers create higher yields using the same amount of land?
Dating back 15,000 years, humans were foragers who lived together in tribes. People tended to live closer to coastal areas as the fish population was abundant and easy to catch, however, as our population grew the hunter-gatherer lifestyle no longer supplied food to the increased amount of people in the tribes. Humans needed to find new ways to provide food for each other, that's when the first crops were domesticated. Since the green revolution in the 1960s (a scheme using genetic modification to increase crop yields in developing countries) crop production has increased close to two and a half times, with only 11% more land being used. (Projects.worldbank.org, 2018) This is a clear example of how genetic modification has worked. When it comes to growing crops and food, it can be a long and arduous process. Most foods are seasonal so how is it now that you can purchase a ripe apple from the shops in June when it isn't supposed to be harvested until spring? And how can farmers possibly supply the amount of grain that is needed without high yielding crops? That is where you can thank genetically modified foods. The process of modifying these foods starts at introducing changes into their DNA using methods of genetic engineering. Creating GM (genetically modified) foods protects them from being contaminated by pesticides and the crops no longer rely on the right weather conditions to create bigger yields, it also stops diseases that can fail the crops and food.
As Australia continues to create more food it is adding money to our economy which benefits farmers and everyone involved in the agriculture business. Food production is one of Australia's main industries as we source 93% of our own food supply, (national farmers federation, 2018) to ensure continued support of Australian farmers they need to keep up with the demand that our population requires. Whilst we only provide 3% of the worlds food supply it produces AU$30 billion annually. (The Conversation, 2018) Since arable land...