Plant Science Post

5 Massive Yield Increases For Our Favorite Foods

July 7, 2015
Food Security

From a comforting cup of tea in the morning, to an indulgent tub of strawberry ice cream at night, plant science keeps your favorite food and drink in ample supply. Here are five popular crops that farmers are producing at record levels.

1. Perfect papaya:

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Sweet tasting and rich in antioxidants, papaya is enjoyed around the world. But the papaya ringspot virus (PRSV) almost destroyed Hawaii’s papaya industry. It’s the biggest threat to papaya cultivation. Plant scientists developed a biotech papaya that’s resistant to the virus. The new variety lifted average yields by 35% and saved Hawaii’s papaya industry.

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2. Sensational strawberry:

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Spain is the world’s number one strawberry exporter, but a build up of soil-borne pathogens and nematodes can infect strawberry plants and dramatically reduce yields. Research has shown that protecting the soil with crop protection products increases strawberry yields by 53%. We can continue feasting on the world’s favorite berry for years to come.

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 3. Tasty tomatoes:

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Whether you consider it a fruit or a vegetable, we use this diverse food in dishes, sauces, salads and drinks around the world. Crop protection products help tomato growers fend off a number of pests and diseases to produce high-volume, high-quality tomatoes. Protecting against insects alone can increase yields by 27%.

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4. Excellent eggplants:

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Biotech eggplants can protect themselves from the fruit and shoot borer – a nasty pest that can destroy entire crops. By growing Bt brinjal, farmers in Bangladesh increased yields by 100% over non-biotech eggplant hybrids. It’s a good thing because eggplant is the second highest consumed vegetable in India.

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5. Terrific tea:

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About one-half of the tea exported around the world comes from Asia, but leaf diseases, weeds and insects can take their toll on tea leaves. Using crop protection products has helped increase yields by 35% to help meet the world’s demand for a cuppa.

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