New Breeding Techniques

Since crop cultivation began, we have been continuously collecting and selecting seeds to improve yield and guard against a variety of threats. These progressively improved seeds are the foundation needed to facilitate our growing population’s need for a safe, reliable, and sustainable food chain.

new breeding techniques

Techniques such as gene editing can be utilised to improve seeds and varieties that can contribute to a safe, reliable, and sustainable food and agricultural system. Using advanced gene editing techniques, which mimic those that occur naturally, can improve the speed and precision of crop breeding, opening up significant opportunities to keep pace with demands for increased agricultural productivity, resource-use efficiency, more durable pest and disease resistance, improved nutrition, and resilience to climate change.

21st century agriculture faces significant challenges. It needs to provide enough food to meet the demands of a growing and

increasingly affluent global population whilst reducing its contribution to the environmental crises of biodiversity loss and climate change. At the same time, agricultural productivity is threatened by these same factors.

Innovation to provide more plant varieties to farmers can help to meet these challenges. Genetic technologies, including genome editing, can significantly reduce the time and expense of breeding new plant varieties because they enable the introduction of a specific genetic variant into elite plant lines without any loss of the advantageous genetics already in those lines.

farmer in field

We are fully supportive of DEFRA’s decision to re-evaluate England’s stance on gene editing because, if restrictions are eased, it will help our members to invest in genetic innovation and develop new varieties more quickly and cost-effectively.

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