Whether food supply can keep pace with an expanding human population is an old question. In 1798, Thomas R. Malthus predicted that population growth would outstrip food supply, causing great human suffering. In the early 1960s, most nations were self-sufficient in food, but alarm about a rapidly growing population (~2% annually) caused many to echo Malthus' prediction. Then, the Green Revolution (high-yield crops and energy intensive agriculture) brought about remarkable increases in crop production. World grain output expanded by a factor of 2.6 from the 1950s to the 1980s. Today, per capita production has now slowed and appears to be declining.
USE OF BIOTECHNOLOGY IN SEED PRODUCTION AND PLANTING MATERIAL PROPAGATION Biotechnological tools have greatly contributed to the production and supply of improved quality seed and planting material to farmers worldwide. Among other uses, biotechnology is employed to:
USE OF BIOTECHNOLOGY IN PLANT BREEDING Crop improvement is the exploitation of genetic variability, followed by several generations of selection. Breeders have always used the most modern technologies available to them. This has permitted them to make considerable progress during the last twenty years, thanks in particular to the development of biotechnology. These tools permit: