Maurice Oyoo: Biotechnology as a tool for improved agricultural yield as a result to climate change and solution to reduced global warming due to agricultural activities
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Maurice Oyoo: Biotechnology as a tool for improved agricultural yield as a result to climate change and solution to reduced global warming due to agricultural activities






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Maurice Oyoo: Biotechnology as a tool for improved agricultural yield as a result to climate change and solution to reduced global warming due to agricultural activities Maurice Oyoo: Biotechnology as a tool for improved agricultural yield as a result to climate change and solution to reduced global warming due to agricultural activities Presentation Transcript

  • Biotechnology as a tool for improved agricultural productivity as a result of climate change and solution to reduced global warming due to agricultural activities Maurice E. Oyoo, * Muniu FK and Kibet PK [email_address] K. A. R. I. (Kenya)
  • Introduction Source: Stern Review on the economics of climate change, HM Treasury, 2006 Fig.1. Projected impacts to climate change
    • Its warned that temperatures could increase by 2 to 3 deg in the next 50 years with devastating effects
  • Intro cont… Adapted from FAO, world bank 2003 Table 1. The world population projection
    • The devastating effects from climate change are predicted amid
          • Growing world population
          • Reduced arable land area
    Time 1950 1999 2050 World population (billions) 2 6 8 People fed per hectare (no.) 2 4 5 Cultivated land area/person (ha.) 0.45 0.25 0.15
  • Intro cont…
    • Traits that can be considered for adaptation in climate change environment
          • Heat tolerance
          • Water-use efficiency (WEMA)
          • Nitrogen-use efficiency (NUE)
          • Early vigour
          • Waterlogging tolerance
          • Salt tolerance
          • Pest and disease resistance
          • Early bulking in root and tuber crops
    Intro cont…
    • CO 2 , light, temp and H 2 O are critical for plant growth and are related to climate.
  • Intro cont…
    • Currently, 852 million people suffer from malnutrition while 1.3 billion are afflicted by poverty in developing countries
    • Solution: double food production sustainable on same land area (1.5 billion ha) by 2050
    • Through: adopting new farming technologies to cope with declining crop yield to ensure food security
  • Justification
    • Plant breeders are now able to use molecular biology techniques to identify genes conferring particularly characteristics in advance of crossing plants
            • Eliminates the need for expensive and unreliable field testing
            • Reduces the time required to develop a new crop for a changing environment
      • Despite the relevance/importance of biotechnology to sustainable development…………….
    • Improved crop productivity and income
      • Restore higher annual genetic gains to increase crop productivity
      • Enhance quality and nutrition
      • increased crop value ($2.5 to 3.0 billion in 2003)
    • Protect Biodiversity
      • Double crop production on same area of land
        • Save the forests biodiversity, 13m ha loss/ year
    • Environmental safety Impacts
      • Reduce need for external inputs- Pesticides- Potential to save 50% or 30,000mt in cotton alone . The accumulative reduction in pesticides for the period 1996 to 2004 was estimated at 172 500 MT of active ingredient, which is equivalent to a 14% reduction in the associated environmental impact of pesticide use on IT crops
      • Africa is still lagging behind in biotech field
  • Table 2: Leading world producers of GM foods Rank Country Area (million hectares) Biotech Crops 1* USA # 57.7 Soybean, maize, cotton, canola, squash, papaya, alfalfa 2* Argentina # 19.1 Soybean, maize, cotton 3* Brazil 15 Soybean, cotton 4* Canada # 7 Canola, maize, soybean 5* India 6.2 Cotton 6* China 3.8 Cotton, tomato, poplar, petunia, papaya, sweet pepper 7* Paraguay 2.6 Soybean 8* South Africa # 1.8 Maize, soybean, cotton 9* Uruguay 0.5 Soybean, maize 10* Philippines # 0.3 Maize 11* Australia # 0.1 Cotton 12* Spain 0.1 Maize 13* Mexico # 0.1 Cotton, soybean 14 Colombia # <0.1 Cotton, carnation 15 Chile # <0.1 Maize, soybean, canola 16 France <0.1 Maize 17 Honduras # <0.1 Maize 18 Czech Republic <0.1 Maize 19 Portugal <0.1 Maize 20 Germany <0.1 Maize 21 Slovakia <0.1 Maize 22 Romania <0.1 Maize 23 Poland <0.1 Maize  * - 13 biotech mega - countries g rowing 50,000 hectares, or more, of biotech crops  # - Deploying stacked products containing two or three traits with multiple benefits.  Source: Clive James, 2007 .
  • Objective
    • To enhance/share knowledge and awareness among biotechnology stake holders on the importance of biotech in light of:
        • Rapid increase in global population
        • Diminishing available arable land
        • Declining crop yield as a result of climate change
        • Need for higher yielding crop varieties with limited input needs
  • Biotechnology and climate change related stresses
    • On drought, GM oilseed rape and maize that tolerate water shortages are in field tests in the US
    • Advocates of GM crops defend the technology that heat tolerant and salt-tolerant varieties can play an important role in adapting to global warming
    • Some of the important traits in developing a crop with tolerance to water stress may either include:
    • 1). Long coleoptiles : 2). Root architecture : 3). Early vigour 4). Increasing stem-stored carbohydrates : 5). Stay-green
    • The first biotech maize varieties with drought tolerance are expected to be commercialized by around 2011
    • Heat stress, depends on heat intensity, duration and rate of increase in temperature
    • At the molecular level, heat shock proteins (HSPs) under the control of heat stress transcription factors could be altered
    Biotechnology and climate change related stresses-cont..
    • Also Ca2+dependent signalling phytohormones eg. abscisic acid, salicylic acid and ethylene could be of interest
    • Waterlogging typically results in wheat and cotton crops losses of between 10–50%
    • GM cotton lines that contain genes derived from Arabidopsis have been developed in Australia that are expected to enhance tolerance to waterlogging
    Biotechnology and climate change related stresses-cont..
    • GM IR crops esp. cotton and maize have been widely adopted, with 20 M ha grown worldwide in 2006
    • Plus, 22 M ha of GM crops with combined IR and HT traits were grown
    • In Australia, GM IR cotton accounts for around 90 % of cotton production
    • Nearly all of the commercially released GM IR crops have been modified with cry genes from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis ( Bt ).
    • A number of GM disease-resistant crops have been approved for commercial production in the world. Eg. potato varieties resistant to potato Y virus and potato leafroll virus in US and Canada
    • Agriculture currently accounts for about 25% of GHG emissions.
    • Agriculture accounts for 14% of CO 2 emission, methane (CH 4 ) (48%) and nitrous oxide (N 2 O) (52%)
    • Implementing sustainable agricultural practices is therefore important
    • GMOs help decrease the necessity and frequency of spraying and tillage.
    • GM HT and IR Crops : maize, cotton, soybean, canola, sugar beet and grain sorghum hybrids have been developed reducing fuel used by farmers when they spray pesticides and herbicides on their fields, saving in CO 2 emissions
    Biotechnology and greenhouse gas reduction conserved farming systems
    • Each litre of tractor diesel consumed contributes an estimated 2.75 kg of CO 2 into the atmosphere
    • The fuel savings associated with making fewer spray runs (relative to conventional crops) has resulted in permanent savings in CO 2 emissions
    • In 2005 this amounted to approx. 962 M kg ( 356 ML fuel reduction).
    • 1996 - 2005 the cumulative permanent reduction is approx. 4,613 M kg of CO 2 (1,679 ML fuel reduction).
    • The adoption of NT or RT systems in respect of fuel use results in reductions of CO 2 emissions of 89.44 kg/ha and 40.43 kg/ha respectively
    Biotechnology greenhouse gas reduction conserved farming systems cont…
  • Table 3. Tractor fuel consumption by tillage method Source: “GM crops: global socio-economic and environmental impacts 1996-2006,” Barfoot, P. and Brookes, G (2008). Tillage system Tractor fuel consumption ( Litre/ha) Traditional cultivation: mouldboard plough, disc and seed planting etc. 46.65 Conservation cultivation (RT): chisel plough, disc and seed planting 28.83 No-till (NT) (fertilizer knife, seed planting plus 2 sprays: pre-plant burn down and post-emergent) 14.12
  • Summary
    • By adopting more sustainable management practices, agriculture plays a large part in enhancing soil carbon sequestration
    • One way is by reducing conventional tillage
    • By leaving at least 30% of residue on the soil surface, NT reduces the loss of CO 2 from agricultural systems and reduces evaporative water loss from soils
    • In 2007, the NT area nearly doubled in the US
    • a 5-fold increase was recorded in Argentina, with GM Roundup Ready soybean estimated to account for 95% on the NT soybean area.
    • Soil carbon sequestered since 1996 is equivalent to 63,859 M Ton of CO 2 that has not been released into the global atmosphere because of adoption of GM HT crops
  • Table 4. Context of carbon sequestration impact 2006: car equivalents Source: GM crops: global socio-economic and environmental impacts 1999-2006. Bafoot, P and Brookes, G (2008). Crop/trait/country Permanent CO2 savings arising from reduced fuel use (million kg of CO2) Average family car equivalents removed from the road for a year from the permanent fuel savings Potential additional soil carbon sequestration savings (million kg of CO2) Average family car equivalents removed from the road for a year from the potential additional soil carbon sequestration US: GM HT soybeans 245 108,877 4,064 1,806,345 Argentina: GMHT soybeans 659 293,094 6,994 3,108,408 Other countries: GM HT soybeans 77 34,091 813 361,547 Canada: GM HT canola 136 60,541 1,677 745,304 Global GM IR cotton 98 43,582 0 0 Total 1,215 540,186 13,549 6,021,604
  • Biotechnology and reduced fertilzer use
    • N 2 O has a global warming potential of 296, about 300 more than CO 2
    • N 2 O stays in the atmosphere for more than 100 years
    • GM rice and canola that uses N more efficiently (NUE) already developed
    • NUE technology produces plants with yields that are equivalent to conventional varieties but which require significantly less N fertilizer
    • In Kenya, NUE maize is on trial stages
  • Biotechnology and Pest and disease surveillance in a changing climate
    • Biotech tools ( ELISA and PCR) can be used to detect and identify new and emerging pathogens that may have a stronger ability to establish and spread, or to become more abundant under changed climatic conditions
    • Commercial ELISA kits are available for many viruses, bacteria and fungi
  • GM crop (Research & Development) Major global players Leader countries in Africa * Field trials conducted Agricultural Biotechnology Focus in Africa Improved crop quality or HT or IT Developing countries with significant programs Countries with potential and/or engaged research
      • Food insecurity
      • Growing poverty
      • Inadequate nutrition
      • Declining public agricultural research budgets and capacity
    Africa’s receptiveness to GM Crops shaped by concerns about
  • Conclusion
    • The benefits of GM crops are diverse and already proven relevant to developing countries as they are far less labour-intensive and simplified method of farming whilst at the same time providing a higher crop yield of upto 40%
    • Presently, the developing countries primarily benefiting from GM crops are situated in Asia and South America.
    • Of the 50 countries listed by the UN as least developed countries, 35 are in Africa: need to increase agricultural productivity in Africa with the realization that agriculture accounts for 70% of full time employment, contributes to 33% of the total GDP and 40% of the total export earnings
    • The Green Revolution of 1960s had little benefit in African as it required large scale upfront investments. GM crops are knowledge intensive as opposed to capital/labour intensive thus small-scale farmers with limited resources are able to make use of this technology esp now that climate change is here with us
  • Acknowledgement
    • Much gratitude to AdaptAfrica Climate Change Symposium organizers
    • Director KARI
  • Thank you for listening!!