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Crop and Medicinal Plants

Genetically modified crops Genetically modified crops GM crops ‐ If you could reduce world's hunger by producing plants in huge amounts‐ would you? In the debate over large‐scale commercialization and use of GMOs, where should we draw the line? Transgenic cotton (variety NuCOTN 33B, Bt) has been genetically engineered to express an insecticidal protein toxin (Cryl Ac) that is usually produced by a bacterium called Bacillus thuringiensis. The toxin makes the cotton more resistant to pests such as boll worms and tobacco bud worm. The aim of such technology is to increase cotton yield while decreasing the use of chemical pesticides. Let's learn more about Crops and medicinal plants.

Learning Objectives

After completing the topic, the student will be able to:

  • Define and discuss the terms ″agriculture and crops″ and explore how different agricultural practices help the crops to yield quality products.
  • Describe the role of manures and fertilizers for healthy plant growth and regulation.
  • Define the term ″harvesting″ and discuss the process involved in crop rotation and multiple cropping.
  • Examine how high‐yielding crop varieties are developed by scientists changing the genetics of plants for the benefit of humankind.
  • Deduce the aim of plant breeding and list different types of breeding methods involved in it.
  • Identify some of the medicinal plants and investigate their medicinal values.
  • Explore how advances in plant biotechnology help mankind and list some of genetically modified products currently in use.
  • Define ″GMO testing″ and understand the risks and controversies surrounding the use of GMOs.
Crops Crops Plants of the same kind grown on a large scale for food, clothing, etc., are called crops. A crop is grown to be harvested as food, livestock fodder, fuel or for any other economic purpose.
Crop and Medicinal Plants

The term 'Agriculture' is derived from two Latin words ‐ Ager which means field and cultura meaning cultivation.

Agriculture, thus, is the cultivation of field or land. Agriculture refers to the production of food and goods through farming and forestry. In a broader sense, it is the science of growing plants and raising animals useful to humans. Agriculture includes the cultivation of land, and breeding and management of crops and animals.

Agriculture was the key development that led to the rise of civilization, with the husbandry of domesticated animals and plants (i.e. crops) creating food surpluses that enabled the development of more densely populated and stratified societies.

Major world crops include sugarcane, pumpkin, maize (corn), wheat, rice, cassava, soybeans, hay, potatoes and cotton.

Horticulture Horticulture is the science, art, technology and business involved in intensive plant cultivation for human use. It is practiced from the individual level in a garden up to the activities of a multinational corporation. It is very diverse in its activities, incorporating plants for food (fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, culinary herbs) and non‐food crops (flowers, trees and shrubs, turf‐grass, hops, grapes, medicinal herbs).

Horticulture (Hortus‐garden, cultura ‐ cultivation) is a branch of agriculture. Horticulture is the industry and science of plant cultivation. The branch of agriculture that deals with growing and production of vegetables, fruits, ornamental plants and management of orchards is called horticulture.

Horticulturists work and conduct research in the disciplines of plant propagation and cultivation, crop production, plant breeding and genetic engineering, plant biochemistry, and plant physiology. The work particularly involves fruits, berries, nuts, vegetables, flowers, trees, shrubs, and turf. Horticulturists work to improve crop yield, quality, nutritional value, and resistance to insects, diseases, and environmental stresses.

Horticulture also includes related services in plant conservation, landscape restoration, landscape and garden design/construction/maintenance, horticultural therapy, and much more. This range of food, medicinal, environmental, and social products and services are all fundamental to developing and maintaining human health and well‐being .

Plants grown and tended or cared for in a field (An area of land enclosed and used for agricultural purposes) are known as crop plants or simply crops. A crop is the annual or season's yield of any plant that is grown in significant quantities to be harvested as food, as livestock fodder, fuel, or for any other economic purpose. This category includes crop species as well as agricultural techniques related to cropping. Crop plants supply the major ingredients of food such as cereals, pulses, fibers, oils, vegetables etc,.

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