As of December 2017, the world population is in a dreaded estimate of 7.6 Billion and is projected by the United Nations to further increase to 11.8 Billion by 2100.
Current world population is increasing day by day. In the population growth, this implies increasing demands in space, energy-consumption, and especially food.
While malnourishment is already an issue in every part of the world, it is dreaded by experts that the ability of the world to feed its growing population will further diminish.
This will eventually result in more people getting insufficient nutrients they need and worst, worldwide starvation.
As urbanization and global development goals are one of the key factors in world progress and development, this sacrifices space which is the agricultural or farming lands.
It is a common sight to see agricultural community being converted to condominiums, shopping malls, commercial complex, and buildings. While this could mean progress and development, it also means diminishing farm lands where crops are yield and harvest that sustains and feed a big portion of the population.
Development Diminish Agriculture Space
In the Southeast Asia, agriculture is one of the common industry in every country. Usual crops yielded are corn, rice, and coconut such as in Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines. These crops are known to be rich in nutrients such as carbohydrates that every human need.
However, to coincide with the world progress, these countries are also developing which could mean farm lands turning into buildings. Sadly, we cannot create more agricultural lands while developing concrete cities.
This is where biotechnology, genetic engineering, and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) enter the picture. It’s hard fact that we cannot create agricultural and farm lands, but using these innovations from science, farmers can maximize what’s left to these lands.
That even in a little agricultural space, farmers can yield crops that can feed the population twice or thrice as much.
Front and Center in Biotechnology
Dr. Yong Gao, Director of Corporate Engagement for Asia & Africa, President of Monsanto China, in his discussion regarding biotechnology, use of GMO in farming, and genetic engineering, stressed the importance of these innovations in agriculture.
These new factors in farming could help sustain the world population’s growing need for nutrient-rich food.
He added that, “Organic is a way of production. A different way of production to meet certain customer needs which coexist with modern agriculture.”
Monsanto company, being in forefront of biotechnology and genetic engineering, emphasized the importance of investing globally. Not just as a multinational company but as well as stakeholders that aims for a food abundant world that can be possible through science applied in modern agriculture.
Moreover, in China, conclusive studies proved that Chinese young children who consumes low nutrients food tend to have lower Intelligence Quotient (IQ) while Chinese young children who consumes nutrient-rich food tend to have a higher IQ.
This is as much as alarming as the insufficient food supply for the world. A fact that due to diminishing farm lands and soil quality which often result in poor crop yields that are low in nutrients. A population that is more in quantity but has a low brain quality.
This is one of the reason why Dr. Gao is keen on advocating the use of biotechnology and GMO in agriculture. He also debunked rumors and myth regarding the use of GMO, such as it can cause cancer and unsafe for human consumption. He clarified that these technologies are, “it is safe. It is clean for us [humans].”
Dr. Gao envisions that through Monsanto Company, even in a limited farm lands, “the same man can produce much more.”
Positioning himself and the company into pioneering the use of biotechnology and GMO in the agriculture industry; crops that are nutrient-rich and sufficient in quantity, enough to sustain the world’s population in years to come. (TN/Ehlorra Mangahas)