"Sustainable agriculture" is as articulated in the 1990"Farm Bill" Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990, P.L. 101-624, Title XVI, Subtitle A, Section 1603) sustainable agriculture means "an integrated system of plant and animal production practices having a site-specific application that will, over the long term: (A) satisfy human food and fiber needs; (B) enhance environmental quality and the natural resource base upon which the agricultural economy depends; (C) make the most efficient use of non renewable resources and on-farm resources and integrate, where appropriate, natural biological cycles and controls; (D) sustain theeconomic viability of farm operations; and (E) enhance the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole."
How far biotechnology can help achieve these goals :
Benefits of biotechnology
It is a precise process in which scientific techniques
It is a technique to develop useful and beneficial plants.
It improves process of traditional plant breeding
- Five priority areas have been identified:
- A- Food industries. Production of single-cell protein, Spirulina, enzymes and solid-state fermentations.
- B- Increase and improvement of agricultural production.
- C- Production of pharmaceuticals ; the extraction of biologically active plant substances.
- D- Immunology: Production of vaccines and monoclonal antibodies.
- Virology : Cultivation of virus for vaccineproduction, also used to study there infectious cycle.
- Genetic Engineering : Production of commercial proteins, large scale production of viruses for use in vaccine production e.g. polio, rabies, chicken pox, hepatitis B&measles
• Gene therapy: Cells having a functional gene canbe replaced to cells which are having non-functional gene
- E- Use and recycling of agricultural and industrial wastes and by-products for the production of ethanol, acetone butanol and methane
Biotechnology has the potential to assist farmers in reducing on-farm chemical inputs and produce value-added commodities. However there are concerns about the use of biotechnology in agricultural systems including the possibility that it may lead to greater farmer dependence on the providers of the new technology. This is open for debate.
Limitations of Conventional Breeding
(1) F1 hybrid produced is of intermediate quality
(2) Extreme heterozygosity and pronounced inbreeding depression in plant species (3) Screening of new selections is tedious and time consuming
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