AGROBIOTECHNOLOGY IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES: NORTH-SOUTH PARTNERSHIPS ARE A KEY

Agricultural production almost needs to double in the 21st century, putting tremendous pressure on agricultural resources. Most food production increases must come from more agricultural intensification in the South. This advances the need for a new green revolution: higher productivity and at the same time less pressure on the environment. Agrobiotechnology can contribute to this double green revolution. Biotechnology innovations are often scale neutral and are therefore suitable for small farmers. Moreover, genetic modification offers especially advantages for crops domesticated since a very long time and which are therefore quite different from their wild relatives. However, agrobiotechnology also engenders risks and dangers, outlined in the paper. Multinational companies show little interest in small developing countries because the market is small and intellectual property rights protection is not effective. Not surprisingly, those are also the countries where food insecurity problems are most acute. In many developing countries the capacity to conduct own biotechnology research and development is lacking as well as the legal framework for biosafety testing, patent enforcement and release of transgenic crops. This is illustrated by a case study on transgenic plantain bananas, developed by the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. Therefore, the paper argues that legal and research capacity building are the main priorities. These can be achieved through public-private and North-South partnerships.


Issue Date:
2003
Publication Type:
Working or Discussion Paper
PURL Identifier:
http://purl.umn.edu/31837
Total Pages:
38
Series Statement:
Working Paper 85




 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-08-24

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