Foods & Agricultural

Revolutionizing Agriculture: How Gene Editing is Changing the Crossbreeding Game

gene editing

A serious concern related to global food shortage is prevailing slowly slowly. Researchers are trying their best to solve the issue and even they have come up with a solution which is Gene Editing. A new Technology that has potential to solve the problem of Global Food Shortage by improving crop yields and making crops more flexible to erratic climate changes. 

Before coming to any conclusion it should be decided if this technology can help with the problem or not.

Understanding Gene Editing and Its Application

Gene Editing” a process through which changes can be made to an organism’s DNA. With regards to crop yielding these changes are used to modify the genetic code of crops to make them more rigid to insects, climate changes and other changes of environment.

With cross breeding of different species we tried to make plants better and better. Almost decades ago humans choose a versatile wheat. From that time to till now we have multiplied our crops. For feeding growing population of country excessive use of pesticide and insecticide have atleast destroyed 40% of the land where farmers used to do farming. The problem is population keeps on growing.

And people to be fed easily we need to cultivate more crops but without using much of Land and resources  which is next to impossible. According to people involved in  the process of solving the problem, the difference between today and 2050’s need for food is almost around 50%. 

Is becoming vegetarian a solution?

A solution which everyone thinks is easy and not much of a problem is that everyone should become vegetarian which in result will provide adequate food to everyone but this isn’t a flexible idea as people havgene therapy in agriculturee individual choices for food we can’t force anyone. 

If we let this situation be how it is it will mean the ecosystem will be finished which means no food and ultimate death of human life. 

Scientists are on a mission to yield crops that take less time and use less resources for which they are gonna use rice plant genetic code which will change with the technique of Gene Editing. Rice needs a lot of water but the previous year was drastically very dry so maybe not now but yes this technology will work wonders in future. 

IR64 a different variety of Indica rice grown in countries like The Philippines is eaten across the world. Scientists have modified the genes of IR64 which takes less water. Temperatures like 40 degress many crops can’t survive with water but crops yield through genetics have survived in less water and even harsh climate conditions. 

Crispr method where scientists insert a specific genes to make plants live longer. In the above situation this method Is done to rice so that it can save more water. This method is quite different from Gene Editing.

Example of Gene Editing can be  : genetically modified variety of corn called “Water Efficient Maize for Africa” (WEMA). This corn was modified using gene editing techniques to produce a toxin that kills the stem borer, a pest that can destroy up to 80% of the crop. 

By making the corn more resistant to this pest, farmers can produce more food with less waste. 

Gene Editing is actually very powerful because through this you can make changes. With favourite soil criss breeding of plants can take almost 7-15 years but with Technique of Gene Editing it only takes around 2 months and take some years for testing.

Gene Editing – Market trends and Risks

Gene Editing has now caught up the speed. In 2011-12, only 2 patents were filed but in 2019 through private companies the patents were raised upto 2000. China and America the two countries and many multinational companies are heavily investing in technology of Gene Editing. 

It is estimated that Gene editing market size will reach USD 20,397.8 million by 2030 that was USD 5,412.9 million in 2022. There is also risk involved as many of the crops are still in the research phase and there is no data available on these crops. “Mariyam Moyat” , a member of the centre for biodiversity who is also a researcher, says that the risk involved with the technique says that we will see what happens. It is actually a use which is ahead of science this time regarding Gene Editing. 

Science needs to reach that phase. Some people who are involved with the process hint towards the off genetics or removing genetics which are more than enough. Yield of crops which can grow genes  in dry areas can also remove genes of crops in the Monsoon season. 

Because the genes are involved in large numbers starting or ending one two genes won’t make a difference. Crops which are optimized less would be easy to work with. That’s why researchers insists on crossbreeding the old species who is not a part of production. For eg : Millets

The process is going to take time as breeding has  just started. “Janat Rangnathan ” another member says the situation is serious and involves a lot of things.


In European countries the crops yield through the technique is given a proper label known as GM label and the rules are also strict regarding this. But there is also a debate going around if the label of GM on crops in European countries is correct or not. 


Should Gene Editing be considered as the new process of crossbreeding? The answer is still not decided. In America,China and some countries of Latin America crops do not need a specific label. In this country there is already a plan going on where crops yield through Gene Editing will be on the field. Even in India rules regarding this were given flexibility in 2022. 

This technique has many ways but the authenticity of previous cross breeding will be maintained both the technique be it Gene, or the one being used previously both will be loaded on our ecosystem but maybe in future through Gene Editing it will also be solved.

“One can surely say Future is changing”

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