How can biotechnology improve the living standards of farmers? (15 Marks)

Mentor’s comment

  • In the intro, mention what is biotechnology.
  • In the body, mention the areas in which biotechnology is helping the farmers. For example, GM Crops, Organic farming techniques, Innovation in the field of agriculture Molecular farming, etc.  Also, mention that with scientific understanding, farmers are becoming better in terms of awareness and technical understanding.
  • The answer can be concluded by mentioning the need to focus on the research in biotechnology so that it can be of help in even more areas in agriculture.

Answer:

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization – Feeding a world population of 9.1 billion in 2050 will require raising overall food production by 70 percent (nearly 100 percent in developing countries). In this context, biotechnology becomes important because it allows farmers to grow more food on less land using farming practices that are environmentally sustainable.

Role of biotechnology in improving the living conditions of farmers

  • Biotechnology for farmers in cropping
  • Climate-resilient crops: Sometimes it is necessary to develop crops that can sustain in adverse climatic conditions. This will enable farmers to save themselves from losses that occur due to crop losses. Ex: Water-resistant paddy can tackle incessant rains.
      • Genetic engineering can accelerate improvements in plants by increasing the diversity of the gene pool. It can also help in the production of plants that have
        • a short maturing period
        • higher yield
        • potential to promote food production even in adverse conditions like drought, salinity
        • Ex- Bt Cotton improved cotton yields in India
      • Nutritional capacity enhancement: Agricultural biotechnology can be used to improve the nutritional content of a variety of crops in an effort to meet the needs of an increasing population. Genetic engineering can produce crops with a higher concentration of vitamins.
  • Biotechnology in Animal Husbandry
    • Sexing of semen and embryos (by removing the Y chromosome) → only female cattle can be produced → milk production increased → income improved.
    • Cloning, somatic cell nuclear transfer, transgenic animals → improving the breed quality, making them disease and climate resistant.
    • Transgenic cows can produce milk with a more balanced protein & nutrients for human babies than natural cow-milk. → More income by selling such premium products.

Way Forward

  • The Government needs to harness the potential of biotechnology through innovative initiatives like Biotech-Kisan.
  • While continuing and increasing the share of funding in basic research, the government should encourage and incentivize the private sector to invest substantially in applied research.
  • In this context, initiatives like Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), which aim to play a transformative and catalytic role in building a US$ 100 billion Indian bio-economy, is a step in the right direction.
  • Government must try to set up the proposed Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India

Biotechnology has to be better integrated into modern farming especially in areas where growing specific types of the crop become necessary. Thus, we can conclude that biotechnology has indeed helped in improving the lives of farmers up to a certain extent but to be universally acceptable, still, a long distance has to be covered.

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Er S
Admin

Simple listing of points doesn’t fetch more marks.
refer answers below to see how they have grouped points.
lack of technical keywords.
Have touched on allied activities/horticulture/animal husbandry.
The conclusion should have been to avoid tech that hasn’t been rigorously tested.
7.5/15

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Dakshina Moorthy
Member

Please review the answer.

Er S
Admin

Chart is spot on!
You have somewhat followed the lifecycle approach which is always better than simply listing points.
If you touched on allied activities of agriculture, you would have gained 2-3 more marks.

9/15

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NJ89
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Er S
Admin

Good points around climate change + touched on livestock.
Weak conclusion.
9/15

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Chester
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