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Agricultural biotechnology : transgenics in agriculture and their implications for developing countries (English)

This background paper explains that the use of biotechnology in agriculture is enmeshed in controversy, particularly with regard to the development and use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), also known as transgenics. A number of reports on the subject are agenda-driven in that they present selected aspects of the data both for and against transgenics, precluding a fuller discussion of the issues. This paper aims to address the deficiencies in quality and balance, especially with respect to the use of transgenics in developing country agriculture. Rather than reviewing the literature across the board, the paper synthesizes peer-reviewed research results published within the past three years and a few earlier, ground-breaking papers that are central to economic debates on the subject. The synthesis covers (in this order): ex post and ex ante assessments of the impact of transgenics at the farm level, as well as production costs and factors influencing adoption; assessments of documented environmental and health impacts to date; the level of public sector research in biotechnology in general and transgenics in particular; the regulatory frameworks emerging for the new technologies; and the political economy governing the adoption and development of transgenics. The paper concludes by discussing the implications for public sector support of the development and use of transgenics in agriculture in developing countries.


  • Author

    Pehu, Eija, Ragasa, Catherine

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    Working Paper

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    The World Region,

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  • Doc Name

    Agricultural biotechnology : transgenics in agriculture and their implications for developing countries

  • Keywords

    Crop;integrated pest management program;Agricultural Research and Extension;Management of Natural Resources;increase in profit;cost of compliance;international development community;regulatory system;barriers to trade;large private companies;level of private;public sector product;disease in poultry;international agricultural markets;modern crop varieties;production of pharmaceuticals;genetic engineering method;global political economy;resistance to disease;public sector involvement;vitamin a deficiency;public agricultural research;vitamin a supplements;enforcement of regulation;number of beneficiaries;country of origin;agricultural and food;coefficient of variation;staple food crop;genetically modified organism;global food supply;deficiency in quality;ex ante assessment;biotechnology in agriculture;intellectual property rights;total factor productivity;intellectual property protection;level of capacity;benefits of biotechnology;seeds of conflicts;Public Sector Organizations;political economy factor;food safety risk;comparability of assessments;Support for Agriculture;insect resistance;regulatory capacity;natural habitat;yield gain;herbicide-tolerant soybean;monarch butterfly;production cost;production system;cotton production;cotton variety;weed species;health benefit;global commodity;seed company;poor farming;International Trade;scientific evidence;biosafety regulation;active ingredient;large-scale production;commercial production;animal disease;field testing;stringent standards;white maize;herbicide tolerance;



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Pehu, Eija Ragasa, Catherine

Agricultural biotechnology : transgenics in agriculture and their implications for developing countries (English). Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group.