The role of biotechnology in agricultural production and food supply
Morgado Hernández,Carlos Alberto
Over the past several decades, technological developments and modernization have grown concomitantly.For example, advances in biotechnology have been used as a tool to increase food production. Specifically, advances in genetic engineering have made possible the manipulation of crops to increase yield, guaranteeing food supplies for the increasing world population. However, transgenic crops have not been well received by all members of society, and there is still uncertainty about their social benefits and the possible implications to human health. Additionally, the benefits of agricultural modernization have favored only developed countries, whereas people living in developing and underdeveloped countries suffer rampant hunger, malnutrition and poverty. Hence, there is a necessity to create policies guaranteeing that the advances in biotechnology are translated into better agricultural practices that can meet the ever-growing food demand. The agricultural modernization process, however, must consider that sustainable development is imperative in modern societies and that there is an increasing desire for consuming so-called organic foods based on the idea that these foods have a higher quality and stimulate regional agricultural production. This review discusses the role of biotechnology throughout history in relation to agricultural production and the development of the food sector.