This is the fifth of a series of articles that I will write to explain and outline the advantages of genetically modifying food and organisms. Before moving forward, I should point out that I will discuss some of the disadvantages to genetic changes to crops, but that will come after this series is over. Sign up on the right of the blog to receive updates directly to your email inbox to ensure you don’t miss any part of the series.
Read other articles in this series here.
This is different from the drought tolerance topic I mentioned in this post, and has more to do with long-term droughts. As the world population grows at an alarming rate, farmers will be forced to grow crops in areas that are generally unsuited for plant cultivation.
To explain briefly, these are the main points:
- Farmers will be forced, due to more fertile land being used for housing and related activities instead of farming, they will be forced to move to areas and locations that have not previously been used to grow and cultivate crops.
- Not only will farmers have to move to dry and unhealthy conditions, these places usually have high salt content as well. This is not at all ideal for almost all crops, especially the staple foods most popular around the world. Plants will have to have salinity tolerance, something that does not come naturally to most crops.
That’s the general gist of the arguments against using non-genetically modified methods. Let’s dive deeper into these concerns.
Farmers Will Be Forced To Move To Inhospitable Places
As I mentioned earlier in this post, more and more land is being used for housing. And by housing I do not just mean residential areas, I mean areas that are being used to build sites for humans. Be it houses, offices, industrial complexes, anything that prevents farming from being conducted on that piece land.
What this means is that farmers will have to move to inhospitable locations, as the current trend is to prefer secondary and tertiary buildings over primary activities such as crop farming or livestock farming. This trend started since the industrial revolution and I see no signs of it changing anytime soon, or in the future.
When these farms move to other locations, not only are these pieces of land of less-quality and less fertile, but they also have problems in the groundwater for example. They have different weathers, different climates, different soil types. They are different on so many levels that I won’t even try and go into it right now. That is a post for some other time.
Non-Genetically Modified Food Is Not Saline Tolerant
I give this a separate section because it is extremely important. What salinity tolerance means is that a plant is suited to withstand long periods of high salt water content in soil and groundwater. This is because high salt water content in soil and groundwater is extremely harmful. In my previous posts you will notice that I talk about the farmers losing their harvest, but in this case they will not be able to grow anything meaningful in the first place.
It is very important for seedlings to have the correct amount of salt in the soil they are planted in, but this soil is now being used for buildings.
Creating plants that can withstand long periods of drought or high salt water content in soil and groundwater will help people to grow crops in formerly inhospitable places. This will allow farms to move from their prime locations without any worries, and will be profitable to everyone involved.
This is the fifth part of this series. There are several other benefits such as pest resistance, herbicide tolerance, disease resistance, cold tolerance, pharmaceuticals, etc. Enter your email address below to get these articles directly in your inbox when they are posted. You will also get a free ebook that explains the basics of GM food and GMO. It contains everything you need to know to be able to dive deeper into these discussion in your own research as well as in conversation with your colleagues and friends. Sign up below!