Driving Trends in the Agrigenomics Market, Agricultural Yields to Flourish

Posted in Agriculture by Adolf on May 30,2022 506

Gone are the days when the only job of the farmer was to manually plough the fields and cultivate the crops. Moving into the era of the future, where advanced technology and science are the new partners of every industry, the agricultural business is no less to be left behind. As things are changing, the adoption of new and sophisticated mechanisms like geo-positioning systems, robotics, agricultural genomics and centre pivot irrigation systems are being used by farmers to better manage their farmlands. Every individual crop requires specific treatments; hence, farmers are always on the look-out for modern and improved technology to simplify the farming process.

Besides the use of state-of-the-art equipment on the fields, agricultural researchers and farmers are also studying the plant genomics. Just like any other organism, plants also use their genes to pass on their qualities. To define, a genome is the genetic information of a life form that contains all the instructions an organism requires to grow and function. Agricultural Genomics, also known as AgriGenomics is the application of genomics in agriculture. The adoption of this technology has helped with a better harvest, eradicate pests and diseases, as well as improve the efficiency and nutritional value in crop and livestock productivity.

How is Agrigenomics helping Agriculture?

The global agrigenomics market is estimated to be US$ 3.3 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach US$ 5.3 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 9.7% from 2021 to 2026. The agrigenomics market is increasingly driven by technological advancements in systems & services of applied genomics, demonstrable increase in the efficiency and productivity of current agricultural practices, greater availability of reference genomes, and utilization of genotyping for genome-wide association studies, genomic prediction, and cultivation of gene-edited elite cultivars with desirable traits, such as high yield, stress tolerance and pest resistance along with high milk and meat yields, better health, and increased productivity in case of livestock. The large-scale genetic characterization in some of the commercially relevant crops has provided a framework that is applicable to other crops as well. With the mounting dual challenges of population growth and climate change, new strategies, including genetic advancements, must be available to producers to address concerns of yield optimization and food security.

The livestock segment is projected to gain further growth traction during the forecast period owing to rapid adoption and commercialization of the novel genotyping platforms and related techniques such as marker-based selection (MAS) and marker-based breeding (MAB) to identify complex inheritance traits. As per the agriculture market analysis report, the global demand for animal-based food products is expected to increase by 70% by 2050. The implementation of advanced genetic technologies in livestock production will ensure minimal environmental impact with optimized animal health & fertility.

A shift from traditional animal breeding to genomic selection is estimated with the introduction of genome analysis tools. The presence of next-generation sequencers has enabled researchers to quickly and effectively determine the single nucleotide polymorphisms associated with commercially important phenotypic traits and estimate the breeding value (EBV) at an earlier stage of young animals.

The Marker-assisted selection is expected to grow at the highest rate during the forecast period as it is cheaper and faster than any conventional phenotypic assays, depending on the trait. Marker-assisted selection or marker-aided selection (MAS) is an indirect selection process where a trait of interest is selected based on a marker (morphological, biochemical, or DNA/RNA variation) linked to a trait of interest (e.g., productivity, disease resistance, abiotic stress tolerance, and quality), rather than on the trait itself. This process has been extensively researched and proposed for plant and animal breeding. It uses conventional breeding approaches and does not involve transgenic approaches. Marker-assisted breeding uses DNA markers associated with desirable traits to select a plant or animal for inclusion in a breeding program early in its development. This approach dramatically reduces the time required to identify varieties or breeds which express the desired trait in a breeding program. The marker may be the sequence of the gene that determines the trait, but in most cases, it is a DNA sequence which is located very close to the gene of interest and is therefore always inherited with the trait. Desirable traits include disease resistance, salt tolerance, and high yield. Hence, DNA markers have enormous potential to improve the efficiency and precision of conventional plant breeding via marker-assisted selection.

The Asia Pacific region is projected to be the fastest-growing in the global agrigenomics market at a CAGR of 10.6%. The growth in the region is projected due to the progress in research and development activities in India, China, and Japan. The availability of high-quality reference genome sequences for a majority of crops has strengthened the foundation of functional genomics in the region. Asia Pacific is the most populous continent with growing concerns for food and nutritional security. The region also produces important food crops such as rice, wheat, barley, chickpea, and pigeon pea. The agrigenomics solutions adopted in a full-fledged manner across the key markets of the region can emerge as a strong tool in the attainment of zero hunger as a sustainable development goal. 

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