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Plants for the future

Dulce De Oliveira (UGent) and Marc Van Montagu (UGent)
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Abstract
The present millennium has started with unprecedented global menaces with serious implications for mankind. The management of the planet's resources, the consequences of climate change, the problems generated by the food crisis require prompt actions. Actions at political and managerial level that take into account the contributions that science and technology can bring. The main challenges are: food and feed security; a much more sustainable agriculture; improved cash crops as raw material for the chemical and manufacturing industry; and, above all, actions for the preservation of the last surviving wildlife areas. The challenge is to produce better and more. The millennium goals are far from met. The number of undernourished people is reaching 1 billion. We need to produce more, to fulfill the demand of diversified agricultural products, and to guarantee a decent income to the farmers in the developing and emerging countries. To produce better, to satisfy sanitary and environmental requirements, biotechnologists have developed prototype plants that take up fertilisers more efficiently, need less irrigation and are more resistant to biotic and abiotic stresses. It is our mission to ensure that this knowledge is used to a wide range of breeding programmes, to generate the crops of the future. Despite the enormous increase of our knowledge on plant genomes, their dynamics and evolution as well as on gene expression and its link to agronomic traits, we have seen that the best of plant sciences cannot help if society is not confident in the technology. Every effort should be made in creating awareness on how plant biotechnology can play a major role in meeting the main environmental and nutritional challenges we are facing. Society's support of the technology is needed for rationalising and harmonising the regulatory and biosafety policies which presently stop all introductions of transgenic plants by SMEs. It is the duty of the scientists in the public sector to explain to society and to policy makers the important benefits of these novel achievements in plant sciences to the economy, the environment and the global well-being of our societies.

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

Chicago
De Oliveira, Dulce, and Marc Van Montagu. 2011. “Plants for the Future.” In Challenges for Agricultural Research, 209–219. Paris, France: OECD.
APA
De Oliveira, D., & Van Montagu, M. (2011). Plants for the future. Challenges for agricultural research (pp. 209–219). Presented at the Co-operative research programme conference on Challenges for Agricultural Research, Paris, France: OECD.
Vancouver
1.
De Oliveira D, Van Montagu M. Plants for the future. Challenges for agricultural research. Paris, France: OECD; 2011. p. 209–19.
MLA
De Oliveira, Dulce, and Marc Van Montagu. “Plants for the Future.” Challenges for Agricultural Research. Paris, France: OECD, 2011. 209–219. Print.
@inproceedings{2125504,
  abstract     = {The present millennium has started with unprecedented global menaces with serious implications for mankind. The management of the planet's resources, the consequences of climate change, the problems generated by the food crisis require prompt actions. Actions at political and managerial level that take into account the contributions that science and technology can bring. The main challenges are: food and feed security; a much more sustainable agriculture; improved cash crops as raw material for the chemical and manufacturing industry; and, above all, actions for the preservation of the last surviving wildlife areas. The challenge is to produce better and more. The millennium goals are far from met. The number of undernourished people is reaching 1 billion. We need to produce more, to fulfill the demand of diversified agricultural products, and to guarantee a decent income to the farmers in the developing and emerging countries. To produce better, to satisfy sanitary and environmental requirements, biotechnologists have developed prototype plants that take up fertilisers more efficiently, need less irrigation and are more resistant to biotic and abiotic stresses. It is our mission to ensure that this knowledge is used to a wide range of breeding programmes, to generate the crops of the future. Despite the enormous increase of our knowledge on plant genomes, their dynamics and evolution as well as on gene expression and its link to agronomic traits, we have seen that the best of plant sciences cannot help if society is not confident in the technology. Every effort should be made in creating awareness on how plant biotechnology can play a major role in meeting the main environmental and nutritional challenges we are facing. Society's support of the technology is needed for rationalising and harmonising the regulatory and biosafety policies which presently stop all introductions of transgenic plants by SMEs. It is the duty of the scientists in the public sector to explain to society and to policy makers the important benefits of these novel achievements in plant sciences to the economy, the environment and the global well-being of our societies.},
  author       = {De Oliveira, Dulce and Van Montagu, Marc},
  booktitle    = {Challenges for agricultural research},
  isbn         = {9789264090101},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Prague, Czech Republic},
  pages        = {209--219},
  publisher    = {OECD},
  title        = {Plants for the future},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264090101-19-en},
  year         = {2011},
}

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