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Commercial plant breeding: What is in the biotech pipeline?

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Of all of humankind's endeavours, agriculture has led to the most pressure on land, its resources and biodiversity. Over the past 50 years, the need to increase food production has resulted in the loss of one-fifth of the world's topsoil, one-fifth of its agricultural land and one-third of its forests. To slow down, and ideally reverse, this trend in the face of a predicted population increase of 50 per cent, a water shortage and climate change, new approaches will be needed. In this context, crop biotechnology and genomics have a major contributory role to play in the sustainable improvement of crop and livestock productivity, human and animal health and the development of renewable resources such as fibres, plastics, biofuels and plant-made pharmaceuticals. Manifestly, this will require both political will and international agreement.Journal of Commercial Biotechnology (2004) 10, 209–223; doi:10.1057/palgrave.jcb.3040076

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/palgrave.jcb.3040076

Publication date: March 1, 2004

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