At the annual ISF World Seed Congress, Dr. Nomman Ahmed, Executive Director Global Trend Research & Analytics Practice Lead at Kynetec, presented his thoughts on the top 10 things you need to know to make future thinking decisions
Speaking at the conference today, 6th June 2023, Nomman shared his view on how:
- Regulatory challenges and the absence of a global legal framework for new breeding methods are a big concern, hampering pace of technological development.
- Intellectual property rights disputes present significant hurdles for small and medium-sized companies creating the environment for disputes, particularly if patent status is unclear.
- Environmental Concerns, such as GMO, Genome Editing where existing national regulations work to discourage genome editing in many countries. He shared his concern about advocacy groups tending to discourage the use of new gene technologies in Agriculture based on speculative risks, and he highlighted that risk associated with genome editing are driven more by socio-political factors than by scientific principles.
- Digital Agriculture use whereby yield monitors, soil testing, and mapping technology are the technologies most frequently used to make the most common types of decisions associated with digital ag technology present major opportunities for input suppliers looking to drive efficient food production sustainably.
- Urban farming is a trend with potential to support ongoing population growth, presenting a market opportunity globally.
- The focus on sustainability presents opportunities for sustainable production practices and plant breeding innovation.
- Seed traceability and certification, both provide near perfect use cases for deploying blockchain technology. Some key benefits include provision of comprehensive transparency, detection of counterfeits, and supply chain optimization.
- The adoption of climate resilient seed varieties can help farmers adapt to the negative impacts of climate change on crop production. Investments in these areas will only grow, involving multiple stakeholders from the public and private sphere, as well as multinational organizations.
- Plant beneficial microorganisms for microbial seed treatments help drive sustainability by reducing dependency on agrochemical inputs, which can be expected to see even greater headwinds from a regulatory perspective. Market opportunities will be created around true innovation driven by greater R&D focus.
- The biotech evolution, initially driven by GM and more recently revived by SDN genome editing, amidst challenges, holds potential for helping address some key challenges faced today, such as having to produce more output from finite resources with a less toxic environmental footprint. Hybridization and Biofortification will also play a key role in addressing these issues.
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