Biotechnology: The Impact Of Food And Nutrition In Developing Countries

Biotechnology refers to the application of cells and parts of living organisms to develop products which improve human life and health. It entails breeding programs, such as cell and tissue culture and genetic engineering among others.

Nutrition is necessary for the normal functioning of the human body. It involves the intake of nutrients which include carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, mineral salts and water. Many developing countries often experience hunger, famine and starvation which are the leading causes of malnutrition. Several developing countries are now embracing biotechnology. Biotechnology has great impact on providing food and nutrition in the developing countries.

Biotechnology has led to the production of better quality seeds by the use of cell and tissue culture. These better quality seeds have high germination and survival rates, leading to an assurance of a bumper harvest. The seeds are improved with a variety of indigenous seeds having improved nutritional content through recombinant DNA. Recombinant DNA involves combining DNA from more than one species. Where one species lacks in some nutrients, the other one is combined with it, thus making up for the deficit and enhancing the nutritional content.

Due to the application of biotechnology, the farmers are now able to grow more crops on less land. The production of improved and more resistant crop varieties reduces the amount of crops lost to pests and diseases. Higher crop survival means bumper harvests and increased food security, thus contributing to better nutrition.

Biotechnology in livestock has led to improved animal breeds and a higher rate of animal survival due to breeding with species that are more resistant to harsh conditions. Genetic engineering is now offering faster growth of animals, better milk and meat production among others, thus enhancing food security and higher incomes for farmers.

Biotechnology has a lot of benefits to offer for the developing countries. Seed varieties and crops produced with biotechnology have less carbon dioxide emissions with better nutritional content.

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Rajat Chakraborty Written by: