The Chinese government declared that it will increase the development of genetically modified crops as it faces the monumental challenge of feeding 1.3 billion people due to shrinking arable land and climate change.
Newly-approved plans aim to cultivate high-yielding and pest-resistant genetically modified species. It gave no details on which crops should be developed, but it is likely that the plans call for focus on easily modified and high nutrition foods like corn and rice, the latter already being a staple food in Asia.
Due to climate change and less land to grow large quantities of the foods, production has diminished while the population continues to rise. Chinese leaders said that the plan was, “of strategic significance in the country’s drive to make its agricultural sector more efficient and competitive internationally.”
The plan aims to keep annual grain output above 500 million tons by 2010 and increase production to more than 540 million tons each year by 2020. China has become a major producer of genetically modified cotton and vegetables such as peppers and tomatoes, but it has yet to begin large-scale production of genetically modified rice, corn and soybeans. If China wants to support its already overgrown population, I feel that this is the only way to do so. Urbanization, global warming, and the exponentially increasing population have forced their hand, so to say (I am a proponent of using this technology).