Mehr Ernte mit weniger Wasser

STANFORD – Dürren werden von den Vereinten Nationen als „die weltweit teuersten Naturkatastrophen“ bezeichnet – finanziell, da sie jährlich zwischen sechs und acht Milliarden Dollar kosten, und menschlich, weil sie seit 1900 zwei Milliarden Menschen betroffen und zu über elf Millionen Todesfällen geführt haben. Viele Regionen der Welt sind verletzlich. Aktuell betroffen sind beispielsweise Australien, Afrika südlich der Sahara, Südasien, Nord- und Südamerika sowie der Nahe Osten.

Angesichts dessen, dass weltweit durchschnittlich 70% des Wassers durch die Landwirtschaft verbraucht werden, scheint es logisch, dass dieser Sektor bei den Sparmaßnahmen im Mittelpunkt stehen sollte. Und tatsächlich existiert eine erprobte Technologie, die zur Reduzierung von Dürrefolgen entscheidend beitragen könnte: Genmanipulation (GM).

Die GM, die manchmal auch „genetische Veränderung“ genannt wird, ermöglicht es Pflanzenzüchtern, bestehenden Nahrungsmittelpflanzen neue Dinge beizubringen – zum Beispiel, Wasser zu sparen. Obwohl Forschung und Entwicklung durch Widerstand von Aktivisten und exzessive politische Regulierung gebremst werden, gehen in vielen Teilen der Welt GM-Pflanzenarten aus der Entwicklung hervor.

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