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This is gread
“the Gates Foundation’s funding stipulates that all discoveries be made freely available to farmers in developing nations.” This part is pretty important. If agribusiness are the ones making these discoveries, they’ll either be monetized as license-restricted cash crops, or shelved in their patent file while people starve.
This article is excellent and makes some very important points. The early GM traits such as herbicide tolerance and insect/pathogen resistance helped protect yield potential. If we are to increase yield potential we need to improve the efficiency of photosynthesis. I understand some peoples concerns about agribusiness, however the barrier to commercialisation of GM crops is enormous and the one model that is proven is agribusiness. We should see agribusiness as part of the solution as deregulating a novel GM trait in a cash crop e.g. soybean or corn can assist other models for commercialisation. The very high regulatory hurdles are one of several reasons why GM crops have not been commercialised in crops such as rice. The future is agribusiness and public institutions or spin out companies working hand in hand to get some of these important innovations to developing nations. It is still going to take a lot of funding as photosynthesis is extremely complex and plants have mechanisms to down regulate photosynthesis based on the carbohydrate status of the plant or the carbon and nitrogen balance.