Genetically modified crops do not increase production, so to become alarmed, period. As per a study comparison between North America, which adopted the same GMC technology in Indian mustard and Western Europe, which in fact, would not adopt Genetically Modified organisms or GMOs found that the non-GM yields from Europe (Western) were higher.
Even as one finds ample evidence to highlight that GMOs do not outperform their standard counterparts, there is also another fundamental question of alternatives that needs to be addressed should performing mostly through the creation lenses.
For one, there have also recently been major advances in regular plant breeding, such as creation of non-GM hybrids of Indian mustard, B. Juncea and also that of related species B. napus and B. rapa and the development of non-GM hybrids of Indian mustard is gathering pace. Several non-GM hybrids of GMC Mustard – NRCHB-506, DMH-1, CORAL-432 (PAC-432) and CORAL-437 (PAC 437)), which were released between 2008 -2011 has also proven to be promising.
MAS (Marker Assisted Section) is another high-tech, conventional breeding method, which permits breeders to develop plants with desired traits through non-GM, typical breeding. This has recently been successfully employed in rice increasing yields by up to 36% and can apply to Indian mustard as well.
The System of Crop Intensification or SCI is a new environmental technique of growing mustard, which again like in Marker Assisted Section has been fairly successful in rice. Research signifies that SCI is effective in other crops, including Indian mustard and reported to have given makes claimed by the GM mustard. In another type of mustard tested in Gaya, yields tripled while costs halved.
Managing makes using ecological practices such as weeding or filtering with mulching can increase yields by up to 25%. Weed-seed predation or the use of weed-free, clean-crop seeds are among other techniques that can tackle weeds in an ecological way. Yields are the function of farming techniques, which need to be considered. When it comes to mustard, the use of renewable manures prior to seeding mustard as organic and natural fertilizer, inter-cropping of mustard with potato, wheat or barley, followed by only mustard, use of mulching and hoeing practices to reduce weeds, thinning and de-topping at the budding level of mustard and seeding of mustard after hemp are all easy to implement and follow environmental principles of farming.
India has a long good agriculture. Over centuries, growers in this country created practices to keep our farms sustainable. Practices like mixed cropping, crop using organic and natural manure and pest management kept our agriculture sustainable. And we must look for that alternatively than false solutions such as GMOs, which present a serious threat to food security.
With the most comprehensive pieces of analysis, the IAASTD or International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development, an initiative of the World Bank and UN, which brought together 400 scientists from across world, in its review, concluded that small-scale growers and agro-ecological methods are the way forward if the current food turmoil is to be resolved.
The IAASTD said that to focus on local communities, indigenous and indigenous knowledge need to be declared as critical as formal science. This is a substantial departure from the destructive chemical-dependent, one-size- fits-all type of professional farming. The report also appreciates that genetically engineered seeds are highly controversial and will not play a considerable role in addressing the main element problems of biodiversity loss, climate change, starvation and dearth.