Mais Colheita por Gota

STANFORD – As Nações Unidas chamaram à seca o “mais dispendioso desastre natural do mundo,” tanto em termos financeiros, impondo um custo anual entre 6 a 8 mil milhões de dólares, como humanos; desde 1900, afectou dois mil milhões de pessoas, provocando mais de 11 milhões de mortes. Isto acontece porque grande parte do mundo está vulnerável; as áreas actualmente afectadas incluem a Austrália, a África Subsaariana, a Ásia Meridional, a América do Norte e do Sul, e o Médio Oriente.

Como a agricultura é, em média, responsável por 70% do consumo de água em todo o mundo, parece lógico que este sector devesse ser alvo de medidas de conservação. E, na verdade, existe uma tecnologia provada que poderia contribuir de forma significativa para a redução do impacto da seca: a engenharia genética (EG).

Por vezes chamada de “modificação genética”, a EG permite aos criadores de variedades cultivadas usar espécies existentes para fazer coisas novas – como conservar água. Mesmo com a pesquisa e o desenvolvimento sendo prejudicados pela resistência dos activistas e por uma regulamentação governamental excessiva, as variedades EG cultivadas e resistentes à seca começam a emergir de projectos de desenvolvimento em muitos lugares no mundo.

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