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Farming Technology And GM Can Help In Preventing Climate Change

By Michelle L Published 05/7/2010 | Environment

Lord Smith stated to the National Farmerís Union that a climate change could lead to the introduction of novel systems and crops.

Technology plays a huge role in helping the United Kingdom fight the change in climate, and this is expected to boost the governmentís effort to push the genetically modified or GM fruits and vegetables up the national agenda.

According to Lord Smith, chair of the Environment Agency and the past culture secretary, the GM crops and new technologies will support precision farming such as nanotechnology and also tackle the increasing climate pressures like shortage of water.

He also told the delegates at the yearly conference of the National Farmers' Union's that the climate change would create new demands on environmental and land resources and also provide chances for novel crops and systems.

The government has been given the power to put GM back to the national agenda by extreme lobbying by food companies, increasing impact of climate change, the current international food shortages and a very important Royal Society report.

The destruction of GM technology was the main reason behind the campaigns by environmentalists in the 1990s. Last month, a renewed attack came at the Oxford Real Farming Conference by the academics and organic food campaigners.

Wildlife is already following climate change. For instance, the mayfly is now found 40 miles further north than before. In addition to this, the change in winters and summers are said to be the main reason behind the quick decline in pollination insectsí population, about 10-15% slump over the past two years.

Farming is expected to follow the climate change too, just like the reliance of farming on seasonal weather patterns.

According to Lord Smith, we need to be more ready to explore GM options with proper environmental safeguards.

The GM industry increased by 7% last year and now involves 14 million farmers in 25 countries, who grow about 134m hectares of GM crops around the world.

Lord Smith would also recommend using more new technology as nanotechnologies, the use of satellites, IT and other tools which support precision farming is becoming available.

Conventional farmers are more ready to use GM than the organic farmers. although the former agrees that such innovations must be scientifically evaluated first.

Along with exploration of the potential of new crops and technologies, the need for agriculture to become more water efficient will also be take into account by Lord Smith.