Mains Daily Question
Feb. 22, 2021

  1. Discuss the applications of biotechnology in the agriculture and allied sectors.

Approach

  • Introduce by mentioning the need for biotechnology in agriculture and allied sectors

  • Explain how biotechnology can be used in agriculture and allied sectors.

  • Conclude appropriately.

Model Answer

Agriculture along with its allied sectors is the largest source of livelihood in India. Biotechnology can be instrumental in improving productivity and modernising these sectors. The National Biotechnology Development Strategy 2015-2020 has a special focus on the agriculture and the allied sectors.

The applications of biotechnology are manifold in this regard:

  • Crop farming:
    • Productivity of the crops is enhanced using genomics information and interfaces with wide hybridisation, molecular mapping, etc.

    • Crops can be made less input intensive and less prone to biotic and abiotic stresses.

    • Nutritional value of the crops can also be enhanced.



  • Animal Rearing:
    • The health and productivity of Livestock and Poultry can be enhanced.

    • Biotechnology can ensure good breeding and reproductive technologies.

    • Disease resistance in indigenous stocks e.g. cattle, chicken, buffalo, sheep pigs etc. is being enhanced.

    • Feed and fodder enrichment can be done by enhancing its nutritional value.



  • Aquaculture:
    • Micro-diets being developed for larviculture, which is used as food for fish stock.

    • Enrichment of aqua-feed with microbial enzymes which is cost effective at the same time.

    • Ensuring the health of the aquaculture environment and of the aquatic animals

    • DNA marker technology is being used in various species for trait characterisation related to growth, disease resistance and salinity tolerance and could be exploited for enhancing productivity



  • Medicinal and Aromatic Plants:
    • Biotechnology helps in understanding the mechanism of action of medicinal plant based drugs, understanding the biosynthesis pathways for commercial application, botanical pesticides & insecticides and studies on genetic diversity.

    • Genomic resources on medicinal and aromatic plants can be generated to enhance the content of the therapeutically important products.

    • Medicinal and aromatic plants based products can be developed for human and animal healthcare.



There are a number of more applications of the biotechnology in the agriculture and the allied sectors which can significantly contribute towards the goal of doubling the farmers’ income in near future. The need to the hour is efficiently leveraging the present technology and adequately investing for innovative research in this area.

 

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