Biotechnology and the future of agriculture in Zimbabwe: strategic issues
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Biotechnology is a collection of scientific disciplines that integrate natural, life and engineering sciences. The broad definition of biotechnology is simply the industrial use of living organisms or parts of living organisms to produce food, drugs or other products. Traditional biotechnology includes fermentation and the use of tissue culture in plant and animal breeding. Fermentation is used in the processes of making bread, beer, wine and cheese. Plant breeding employs vegetative, micro-propagation and tissue culture, while animal breeding uses techniques such as artificial insemination, super-ovulation and embryo transfer. Modem biotechnology permits the transfer of genes among species regardless of origin, resulting in an organism with an entirely new combination of properties (Marvier, 2001). Other definitions of modem biotechnology include specific techniques such as marker-assisted selection used in both animal and plant breeding.