Source: flckr.com

It's a fact; humans enjoy eating. Fortunately for companies like Monsanto (NYSE:MON) and its main competitors, DuPont (NYSE:DD) and Syngenta (NYSE: SYT), food isn't just a desire, it's a basic need for survival. As populations continue to blossom while arable land continues to dry up, the modified seeds that these companies engineer will only grow in importance. The competitive environment is a fertile one, and Monsanto got a head start by planting its seeds in key markets early on. With Africa and Asia largely untouched by these three companies, the future is very bright. If you are interested in finding out more details behind this thesis, check out the short video below.

Stocks with long-term trends are the ones you can buy and hold forever

This segment is from Thursday's edition of "Digging for Value," in which sector analysts Joel South and Taylor Muckerman discuss energy and materials news with host Alison Southwick. The twice-weekly show can be viewed on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It can also be found on Twitter, along with our extended coverage of the energy & materials sectors @TMFEnergy.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.