Efforts To Increase The Food Supply Through Herbicide Resistant Plants

799 words - 4 pages

The increase of food supply can solve the hunger and poverty problem in certain countries in the world due to food shortage crisis. According to Thayer (1999), there is 71% of the land is planted with herbicide–tolerant plants compared to insecticide–resistant crops. Crops can be genetically modified into herbicide–tolerant crops in order to increase their resistance towards herbicide as well as to prolong their life spans (Uzogara, 2000). Therefore, herbicides can destroy many target weeds which can affect the normal growth of crops effectively but not the crops itselves (Chemical Control, 2012; Thayer, 1999). However, traditional crops will suffer ‘knock–back’ to its growth as herbicide also kills the crops, at the same time affecting crop survival and causing the reduction of food supply (Brookes & Barfoot, 2011). Thus, scientists came out with the idea where herbicide–tolerant crops are created to encounter this problem by preventing the crops from being destroyed by the herbicide. This ensures stable supply of food and increases shelf lives of crops. The examples of genetically modified herbicide–tolerant crops are corn, cotton, soybeans, maize and canola (Brookes & Barfoot, 2006; Brookes & Barfoot, 2011; Uzogara, 2000).
Herbicide tolerant crops are able to preserve upper layer soil, conserve tillage systems and protect water quality (Brookes & Barfoot, 2011; Thayer, 1999; Uzogara, 2000). Herbicide functions to prevent soil erosion and water loss as it reduces the need for cultivation (Chemical control, 2012). Ploughing activity can be reduced, hence saving labour and fuel costs. Furthermore, genetically modified technology allows farmers to use broad–spectrum herbicides against weeds (Brookes & Barfoot, 2011; Uzogara, 2000). Moreover, Brookes and Barfoot (2011) mentioned that this herbicide–tolerant technology which produces cleaner crops also assists in reducing harvesting time and cost, at the same time increases the harvest quality. This technology is environmental friendly as it promotes reduced– or no–tillage production system which produces less carbon (Brookes & Barfoot, 2006). The conventional tillage which emits global greenhouse gas and involves higher energy consumption can hence be reduced (Brookes & Barfoot, 2006).
In addition, farming of herbicide–tolerant crops can be used as alternative rather than using agro–chemicals. This eventually induces higher productivity and reduction of cost as less agro–chemicals are required. Hence, it increases the profits gained through the farming of herbicide tolerant crops. There are Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and economy...

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