Seed Innovation Crucial For Future Food Production
Seed innovation can result in better food production from the same amount of land while also helping to tackle global sustainability and health issues. With an estimated population of 9 billion people by 2050, sustainability and increased yield are crucial goals for agricultural R&D projects. Crop improvements can benefit the environment through decreased energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, irrigation, soil erosion and land use.
Increased knowledge in plant genomics and bioinformatics is allowing for advanced plant breeding and crop improvement. Innovations include pest and disease solutions, increased plant tolerance to particular environments, higher yields and higher quality crops. Drought and flood resistant crops are in strong demand, with farmers experiencing the enhanced effects from global warming.
Furthermore, consumers are favouring fewer chemicals, more nutrition, fresher fruit and vegetables and a longer shelf life. Longer shelf life results in less waste, the retention of more nutritional content and better tasting food. Examples of seed innovation that you may be familiar with include seedless watermelon, baby broccoli, snack-sized peppers and tear-less onions.
The development of new varieties of plants involves a lot of work, requiring breeding, seed selection, trials, land, facilities and more. The project can cost around a million dollars a year and often takes between seven to ten years. To make the investment worthwhile, many breeders are applying for intellectual property rights for their innovations.
If your company is participating in seed innovation, you are likely eligible for the R&D tax credit, which can reduce your tax bill. Contact us for an eligibility assessment.