Did You Know Plant Breeding Innovation Saved 7x Belgium?

DKY Covers  -  plant breeding saved 7x Belgium

Plant breeding innovation generated many positive environmental and socio-economic benefits. If innovation had been stopped in 2000, the EU would have become a net importer of major arable crops by 2020, including wheat and other cereals [1].

Breeding for higher yields and healthy crops helps save natural resources and optimize land use. To measure this, a study revealed that without plant breeding innovation, agricultural lands would have to be expanded by more than 21.5 million hectares*, which is 7 times the size of Belgium** [2].

Further enabling the development and use of precision breeding methods (like genome editing/NGTs) will be critical for Europe to address climate change and to achieve sustainable agriculture.


* Global agricultural acreage in 2020 if plant breeding in the EU had been terminated in 2000 for major arable crops.
** Total area of Belgium is 30 688 Km2 which equals 3 068 800 Ha


New genomic techniques will offer a faster and more precise way to cross and select plants, improving crop quality. 

Source: European Commission

[1] The socio-economic and environmental value of plant breeding in the EU - Key findings - Euroseeds 2021 (Euroseeds)

[2] HFFA-Research-The-socio-economic-and-environmental-values-of-plant-breeding-in-the-EU.pdf 2021 (HFFA Research)