The conventional method of cross breeding plants is a form of natural gene-editing process, though when it’s done in a quick way with a specific targeted location then such gene-editing technique makes it stand out unique among other plant breeding methods. The Gene editing technique has a varied scope in developing the agriculture with sustainable intensification of agriculture, increased nutritional value and could even enhance the resilience of crops to climate change.
Since Asia Pacific holds 60 percent of fertilizer sales which acts as an add on to Gene-editing process that makes use of nitrogen-fertilizers. This would help poor farmers to enable plants to grow with their highest potential with maximum yield and save money.
Agriculture and associated problems in Asia Pacific:
Frequent droughts and floods play the major role in inefficient crop production making small holding farmers the most vulnerable section in Asia Pacific region. Several other restrictions like cost of crop inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides, re-seeding in severe weather conditions forces them to cut down their expenses of farming while in return only getting the inefficient yield and productivity. The inadequate arable lands and low productivity of crops are the major prohibiting factors to increase food production in densely populated areas. Hence, techniques like gene-editing will provide reliable solutions to such challenges in this region.
The urge to adopt gene-editing in Asia Pacific region:
Asia Pacific is home to 12 out of 46 least developed countries, there is often need to have innovative and scientific solutions in agricultural practices to ensure higher, disease free and nutrient rich crop production. This region faces the negative consequences of unpredictable climatic changes. In next few years, conditions of agricultural development if under looked then Asia Pacific will be worst affected due to exponential population growth, frequent natural calamities, major small farm land holdings and rising complexities of global food security. Therefore, it is essential to achieve food and nutrition security in this region.
There’s a need for science-based proportionate regulations to encourage gene-editing and their large scale use for applications of gene-editing and seek advancement of agricultural sustainability and nutrition security which are in high demand when looked from a farmer’s point of view. The gene-edited plants have already been developed by public and private sector organizations across the Asian content.
Hope and scope of gene-editing:
It’s challenging and important for us to meet our food demands without compromising environmental integrity for our sustainable future. A positive response from at least 12 countries have been received after application of gene-editing technology to bring out the new form of most potential plant varieties. In the upcoming days there seems to be a huge hope and scope of gene-editing techniques in Asia Pacific. This would protect farms and rural livelihoods with high yield and climate resistant crops at an affordable low cost when compared with the ones produced naturally.
According to market statistical data, the current worth of gene-editing industry holds about $80 million, which is expected to overcome 2.1 billion figures by 2026. Since Asia Pacific constitutes 40% of global economy which includes economic power risers like China, India, Australia and Japan, hence over the next decades Asia Pacific is all set to grow economically. Most countries in this region are agriculture dependent.
Many countries of Asia Pacific have successfully adopted this technology in the form of Genetically Modified crops (GM Crops). Japan has already begun the sale of ‘Super tomato'(A genetically modified form of tomato variety). Indonesia and Philippines are in process of developing gene-edited organisms. According to surveys, consumers have now accepted and prefer gene-edited products over the natural ones. Department of Biotechnology(DBT), India has immensely invested to support this technology while the Indian government is working with detailed drafted guidelines to make use of gene-editing whose approval is still in progress. The need of acceptance and support from government is still the major goal for effective application of such technique which can be a greater advantage to mankind ever.