Genetic Engineering of Plants
Over the past 50 years or so, conventional plant breeding, combined with improved agricultural practices and modern technology, has contributed to a dramatic increase in the production of plants for food. Not all countries have achieved the same increase in food production, however, and many are unable to feed their own populations. The high agricultural production in some developed countries depends upon favourable climatic conditions, high input of fertilizers and crop protection chemicals, and the successful development of new varieties. It is doubtful whether poorer countries will be able, or even wish, to develop this type of agriculture. Even in countries with a modern food production industry, the input costs are very substantial, and the continued operation of intensive agricultural production raises a number of important environmental and economic issues.
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