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Socio-economic Benefits of Biotechnology

Socio-economic Benefits of Biotechnology

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Socio-economic Benefits of Biotechnology

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  1. Socio-economic Benefits of Biotechnology Safari Hotel 18August 2016

  2. Biotechnology is

  3. What are the problems faced by farmers? • Productivity constraints – producing less • Environmental concerns – draught, floods, human and wildlife conflicts • Malnutrition and Diverse nutritional needs – deficiency of nutrients and/or lack of nutrients rich foods. • Access to market and limited value addition locally – lack of market intelligence and export raw or barely processed goods • Capital – no or limited financial resources and returns (low income derived from agriculture)

  4. Benefits of Biotechnology • Biotechnology can benefit by aiding in growing more food on less land thus enhanced productivity and efficiency gains. • Farmers spend less time in the field and more time on social activities – improving health. • Farmers save on the cost usually paid for ploughing, weeding and spraying pesticides – reducing labour and input cost • More food available to feed the growing world population.

  5. Benefits of Biotechnology • Biotechnology produces crop varieties that are designed to thrive under harsh conditions,  such as severe heat or cold, flood or drought, and soils with high levels of salt or metals • Farmers will be able to produce during harsh environmental conditions • There will be a reduction in animal deaths as feed for animals can be produced in harsh times. • The country will use money spend on relief aid on other capital projects.

  6. Benefits of Biotechnology • Higher crop yields can boost incomes for farmers • Biotechnology seeds enable farmers to increase their agricultural productivity and provide a higher quality crop, which, in turn, translates into higher incomes. • Consistent and improved food supply can help to stimulate local economies.

  7. Benefits of Biotechnology • Biotechnology can benefit through the production of new nutritionally enhanced foods. • Nutritionally enhanced biotech food is currently a major area of research that has already produced a few promising products. For example: • cooking oils with unique fatty acid profiles and less then one percent trans fats and, • corn with higher concentrations of amino acids, certain oils and minerals ideal for animal feed.

  8. Benefits of Biotechnology • Many products in development are being engineered to confer nutritional benefits, such as the new: • “golden rice” which contains added beta-carotene and iron. • Scientists are conducting research on ways to make foods, such as soy and peanuts, with fewer allergens by removing the offending proteins which cause allergic reactions in people. • Also in development are fruits and vegetables with higher levels of nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, and protein.  • Overall reduction of malnutrition.

  9. Benefits of Biotechnology • Using biotechnology to improve human health – use of biotechnology in medicine. • Production of insulin to help diabetic patients. • Gene therapy - experimental technique that uses genes to replace missing or defective ones or treat or prevent disease (genetic disorders).

  10. But to attain these benefits … • Technologies have to be adapted to local circumstances based on agro-ecological principles and local conditions. • Farmers’ support organizations are needed to reduce the costs and improve the effectiveness of technical assistance efforts • Farmers especially smallholders’ need assistance to gain access to markets for organic and other high value products.

  11. Effective institutions and a stable, enabling and supportive policy environment are also critical. • Promotion of learning culture – “what works well where and why” • Integration of traditional farming practices in research and development programmes • Technology is profitable in a relatively short period of time; does not substantially increase risks; and is consistent with farmers’ endowments of knowledge, management skill, land, labour, and other assets.

  12. Socio-economic considerations in Biosafety • Article 26 of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety: • Countries may consider socio-economic considerations in their decision making • National legislation may expand scope

  13. Potential socio-economic risks • Loss of alternative food and medicinal sources due to mono-cropping. • Intellectual property right issues – seed rights and farmers’ rights to seeds – traditional ways of sharing seeds. • Loss of labour • Impact on trade and markets. • Impact on consumer choice – consumers should be able to choice.

  14. THANK YOU

  15. What are the problems faced by farmers? • Productivity constraints – producing less • Environmental concerns – draught, floods, human and wildlife conflicts • Malnutrition and Diverse nutritional needs – deficiency of nutrients and/or lack of nutrients rich foods. • Access to market and limited value addition locally – lack of market intelligence and export raw or barely processed goods • Capital – no or limited financial resources and returns (low income derived from agriculture)