Three key opportunity areas for agri-biotech industry

These are listed in the latest annual report '20th Anniversary of the Global Commercialization of Biotech Crops (1996 to 2015) and Biotech Crop Highlights in 2015' released by the ISAAA

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New Delhi: Looking ahead to the future of biotechnology in agriculture, International Service for Acquisition of Agri-biotech Crops (ISAAA) in its latest report has identified three key opportunities to realize continued growth in adoption of biotech crops.

ONE: New markets can boost growth 

High rates of adoption (90 percent to 100 percent) in current major biotech markets leave little room for expansion. However, there is a significant potential in other “new” countries for selected products, such as biotech maize, which has a potential of approximately 100 million more hectares globally, 60 million hectares in Asia, of which 35 million is in China alone, plus 35 million hectares in Africa.

TWO: Huge ready to market product pipeline 

More than 85 potential new products in the pipeline are now being field-tested; including a biotech drought tolerant maize from the WEMA project (Water Efficient Maize for Africa) expected to be released in Africa in 2017, Golden Rice in Asia, and fortified bananas and pest-resistant cowpea in Africa.

THREE: CRISPR technology for high yield 

CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspersed Short Palindromic Repeats) a new powerful genome- edited technology has significant comparative advantages over conventional and GM crops in four domains: precision, speed, cost and regulation. When combined with other advances in crop sciences, CRISPR could increase crop productivity in a “sustainable intensification” mode on the 1.5 billion hectares of global arable land, and make a vital contribution to global food security.