Connect with:
Saturday / July 20. 2024
HomeAgri GenomicsIndia Needs GEd to Usher in A New Agri Revolution

India Needs GEd to Usher in A New Agri Revolution

For the development of gene-edited crops in India, seed industry requires infrastructure support, clear Intellectual Property Rights policies, investment in R&D and policy for technology licensing. Strengthening partnerships among academia, seed industry, government agencies will pave the way towards development of gene-edited crops in India.

Genome editing technology has the potential to offer solutions to address various problems the Indian agriculture sector is facing – from climate change and disease pressure to high input cost and declining income of farmers. Rapidly increasing population is intensifying the gravity of the problems. Precise genetic modifications, leading to the development of superior crop varieties with improved traits in a short time frame is a solution in sight.

In 2022, the Indian government exempted certain gene-edited plants from stringent biosafety regulations. SDN-1 and SDN-2 plants are thus freed from the cumbersome and time-consuming regulations currently imposed on the commercialisation of genetically modified transgenic crops. With this exemption, India’s seed sector is making good efforts for enhancing crop productivity, nutritional value, and sustainability. However, for the development of gene-edited crops in India, seed industry requires infrastructure support, clear Intellectual Property Rights policies, investment in R&D and policy for technology licensing. Strengthening partnerships among academia, seed industry, government agencies will pave the way towards development of gene-edited crops in India.

The adoption of genome editing (GEd) for crop improvement has the potential to bring India into the epicenter of international trade in agricultural products, said an article published on Tata Cornell Institute’s website in May 2022. It explained the potential of the new technology of GEd – which differs little from genetic modification (GM) – that India can (and should) exploit for its agricultural development through crop improvement and also making the country a global seed hub.

This is achievable since GEd can introduce desirable traits into crops. They include improved plant architecture, disease resistance, drought tolerance, and nutrient use efficiency, which significantly can boost yield and reduce losses. An immensely promising new technology which can overcome the limitations of Genetic Engineering (GE) approach is set to revolutionise the global agriculture sector.

“It offers multifaceted mechanisms for targeted and precise changes in the plant genome through targeted mutagenesis; gene knock-out and knocking; stacking; and modulation of translation,” said a research paper published in a BIOTECH in 2020. This innovative technology is also amenable to multiplexing thus providing opportunity for improvement of complex traits namely yield, input use efficiency, quality, climate resilience, photosynthetic efficiency at a rapid pace.

As a result, it can enhance food security and improve farmers’ livelihoods. Major advantages of gene-editing technology for crop improvement include reduced breeding time, precise trait modification without linkage drag, and the creation of novel genetic variations with substantially enhanced traits. These benefits will enable the seed industry to develop and deploy superior crop varieties and hybrids on a fast track for the benefit of farmers and the country.

But considering the people’s apprehensions towards the gene related technologies for crop improvement it is crucial to understand the difference between GM and GEd so that the people will be able to make informed decisions. Though they appear to be the same, GM and GEd differ technically. GEd technology is a step ahead or a step apart from the GM technology.

To read more click on: https://agrospectrumasia.com/e-magazine

No comments

leave a comment