Maze, wheat and generic-looking plant with icons indicating reduced use of pesticides, resistance to extreme weather and improvements in soil and water usage.

Policy revisions could allow new techniques for more productive, resilient, and sustainable crops.

A new study by the European Commission could enable new genomic techniques for crops, improving resource usage and resilience while reducing environmental impact.

Increasing food production while promoting sustainable agriculture—one of the main goals of this decade—will likely depend on the development of crops with better yield, nutritional values, and resilience to environmental changes.

The GAIN4CROPS project shares this goal as it aims to improve photosynthesis‘s efficiency for increased agricultural production while reducing resource usage.

Towards more sustainable policy

Currently, crops developed using genetic modification are under strict legislation in the European Union. But a recent policy revision—proposed by a European Commission study on New Genomic Techniques—might facilitate the use of two new genetic modification approaches target mutagenesis and cisgenesis.

These less invasive and more nature-based techniques could be crucial for the future of food production by optimising yield, increasing crop resilience, and reducing the environmental impact of agriculture.

Classical versus new techniques

Classic crop development methods have a long safety record but can be inefficient at producing the desired features, while new techniques could provide more precision.

To learn more about this topic, watch our video on targeted mutagenesis and cisgenesis as alternatives to classical techniques.

Thank you for your upload