同等降水条件下产量更多

斯坦福——无论从经济(每年造成的损失为60-80亿美元)还是人文角度,联合国定义的“全世界损失最严重的自然灾害”都是旱灾; 1900年来受旱灾影响的人数已达20亿,其中1,100万人因此而死亡。这是因为旱灾的影响面极其广泛;目前包括澳大利亚、撒哈拉以南非洲、南亚、南北美和中东地区都受到影响。

鉴于农业占用水量的70%,从世界平均来看,把农业作为节水重点似乎是合理的选择。但事实上已经存在成熟的基因工程(GE)技术,可以在很大程度上缓解干旱的影响。

基因工程有时也称“基因改造”,植物育种家在它的帮助下可以让现有作物表现出节水等全新特征。即使在活动人士抵制和政府过度监管给研发工作造成很大障碍的情况下,世界不少地方的抗旱转基因作物品种仍然在研发系统中脱颖而出。

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