Biotechnology in plant nutrient management for agricultural production in the tropics: The research link
AbstractThe potential benefits of biotechnology are extraordinary and traverse sectors like agriculture, environment, health, industry, bio-informatics, and human resource development. In agriculture, biotechnology research has helped to improve the understanding of diseases, to improve the diagnosis and treatment of diseases, to improve resistance to herbicides/insects/pests/diseases/drought, to improve crop varieties and yields, marker assisted selection breeding, to develop new uses for
agricultural products, to facilitate early maturation and to improve food and feed nutritional value. The uncertainties and risks of biotechnology are yet to be fully understood but its possibilities are yet also
to be fully exploited for agricultural production. Research has currently linked plant nutrition to biotechnology through plants modifications to obtain improved photosynthetic system and enhanced nutrient uptake. Due to the corresponding higher physiological efficiency of the improved crops via the biotechnological modifications, plant nutrient management can be adjusted appropriately. These adjustments ultimately lead to other potential benefits in agriculture that include reduced labour and
capital inputs, improved environmental protection and strengthened rural economies, which can translate into sustained agricultural production.