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Potential Impacts of Crop Biotechnology in Developing Countries

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Matin Qaim

Crop biotechnology could boost global food production in a sustainable way. However, the economic repercussions of biotechnology for developing countries are largely unknown and have been the subject of acute controversy over the last few years. This study deals with the topic and provides some preliminary empirical results. An analytical framework for the ex ante evaluation of biotechnology in smallholder agriculture is developed, which is then used within three different case studies in Kenya and Mexico. It is shown that biotechnology holds great potentials for poor agricultural producers and consumers. Yet appropriate institutional adjustments are required to capitalize on these potentials. Implications for national and international biotechnology policies are discussed.
Contents: Global Situation of Crop Biotechnology – Changing Framework Conditions of International Agricultural Research – Analytical Framework for Ex Ante Economic Evaluation – Banana Tissue Culture Technology in Kenya – Transgenic Sweetpotato Technology in Kenya – Transgenic Potato Technology in Mexico – Policy and Research Implications.