Humankind is facing great challenges for the next four decades . The world population has exceeded 7 billion in 2012 and it is expected to reach over 9 billion by 2050. The growth of wealth in emerging countries will add 3 billion people to the world middle class within the next 20 years. These demographic forces will increase food, energy and water demand by 70%, 60% and 50% respectively. Furthermore, human economic activity is using 150% of the planet bio-capacity. If we continue business as usual we will be using over 200% by 2030. This is a not sustainable scenario. The increasing demand for food, energy and water will have to be met by developing environmentally friendly technologies.
At INDEAR we address the new challenges of food production in a comprehensive framework: the seed. We work to design the optimal combination of germplasm, biotech traits, biofertilizers, and biopesticides for each agroecosystem. Our technologies will help increase crop yields and to reduce the ecological footprint of agriculture.
Through our Molecular Breeding platform we apply biotechnological tools, such as genetic transformation and molecular markers, which enable us to develop better crops ever more quickly.
Agriculture accounts for more than two-thirds of the global water use, reaching as much as 90% in developing countries. Water demand will grow 50% in the next 30 years creating a gap that will trigger higher water costs, use constrains, and competition between urban and farming uses.
Our HB4 technology is a second-generation biotechnology trait that increases yields by providing crops with tolerance to drought and salinity. HB4 has three international patent families and it has been in advanced field-testing in Argentina and the US since 2009.
We have selected the Amaranth as a technological platform, given its innate advantages over traditional crops, with regards to its quantity and functional properties such as antioxidants, antihypertensives, antitumorals and anticholesteremics.
In order to develop an integrated product, we must work with the different combinations at an early stage. This is the reason why, at INDEAR, improvement programmes are being carried out on soybean and wheat, to generate the best germoplasm for our traits.