WHY WE NEED AGRICULTURE BIOTECHNOLOGY NOW MORE THAN EVER
The growers of today are facing challenges—the likes of which we’ve never seen before. A monumental (and growing) global population, public demand for healthy food products, and the need to consider environmental sustainability have collided. Food producers need solutions.
This is where agriculture biotechnologies come in, with a unique ability to address the concerns of today’s food production. We are developing agriculture biotechnologies in response to these converging circumstances that affect global food production.
Before we dive into the biotechnologies themselves, let’s get specific about the factors that have made their development necessary.
Global Population Factors Affecting Food Production
Since 2021, the annual growth rate of the world population is 0.84%. That number may seem small, but 0.84% of the current population—over 8 billion—is a huge number of new people to feed each year. The United Nations estimated that near the end of 2022 the global population would reach 8 billion, and here we are at 8 billion and counting.
Now let’s zoom in on Canada. Canada ranked 8th in the world in the production of cereals including wheat, barley, and oats. We produce 1.5% of global food products and consume 0.6%, meaning the majority of the food produced here is shipped to other countries.
Following the EU, U.S., Brazil, and China, Canada is the fifth largest exporter of food products worldwide. We export to almost every country, with the U.S. being our largest export market.
The Global Organic Food Movement
In the last decade or so, people have begun enthusiastically insisting on safer and naturally produced food. The obvious solution to this is organic agriculture. As people have continued to push for natural food options, the organic market has grown in Canada and worldwide. However, the supply has not kept up with the demand.
Organic growers must follow strict guidelines set out by regulating bodies in each country. The guidelines determine parameters for growing organic food, including which substances may be used on the crops. Although these established regulations maintain a standard of quality food products, it remains challenging for growers to produce high-yielding large-scale organic crops. Effective options simply haven’t been available to farmers.
Organic Agriculture in Canada and Across the World
In 2021, Canada’s organic food market was worth $6.5 billion. Organic food products make up 3.3% of total food sales, and Canadians spend an average of $184 weekly on organic food.
The organic food consumption market is huge in many countries, with Switzerland leading the pack, followed by Denmark, Sweden, the United States, and Germany. Canada is tenth in the world for organic food consumption.
So, as you can see, there is significant global demand for organic food products, and growers cannot keep up. One contributing problem is pest control, with crop yields suffering as organic producers try to stay within the rigid guidelines set for what crop protection products they can use on their crops to keep the pests, weeds, and diseases controlled.
People Are Worried About Sustainability, Including Growers
We are starting to experience the considerable cost of resource extraction and production practices on the earth. We demand a lot from our planet, and this pressure on the earth is not sustainable.
The synthetic chemicals that farmers use can help grow food for the planet, but some of these chemicals can be harmful to the environment. Resistance to pesticides is building, water is being contaminated, and our soil is losing its health. Some synthetic chemicals can also harm people who use them frequently and those who come in contact with them accidentally.
How Can Agriculture Biotechnology Help?
Agriculture biotechnology takes all of these converging factors—8 billion people to feed, a focus on sustainability, and societal concerns about food production—and develops tailor-made solutions. It is a culmination of the agriculture industry’s greatest innovations. Agriculture biotechnologies can be used to help to heal the earth and feed people everywhere.
MustGrow’s mustard-derived biotechnology solutions can provide effective, natural options for preplant pest and disease control, weed control, and postharvest preservation for food being shipped around the world. We have answered the call for organic pest control, sustainable practices, and effective options for potentially high yields. Our technology is in development to allow growers to protect, preserve, and feed the world.
If you’re interested in our biotechnologies, learn more about the science here. And, if you’re excited about the possibilities introduced by these innovations, please consider supporting our work by investing.