By Rob Tripp
This ebook addresses the ongoing controversy over the aptitude effect of genetically changed (GM) vegetation in constructing nations. Supporters of the expertise declare it deals the best hopes for expanding agricultural creation and lowering rural poverty, whereas competitors see it as an untested intervention that would convey company keep watch over of peasant farming. The e-book examines the problems by means of reviewing the adventure of GM, insect-resistant cotton, the main extensively grown GM crop in constructing international locations.
The booklet starts off with an creation to agricultural biotechnology, a quick exam of the heritage of cotton creation expertise (and the associations required to help that technology), and a radical overview of the literature at the agronomic functionality of GM cotton. It then offers a evaluate of the industrial and institutional results of GM cotton in the course of the first decade of its use. The center of the ebook is 4 state case reviews in response to unique fieldwork within the critical constructing nations becoming GM cotton (China, India, South Africa and Colombia). The booklet concludes with a precis of the event up to now and implications for the way forward for GM vegetation in constructing countries.
This overview demanding situations those that have estimated technological failure by means of describing cases during which GM cotton has confirmed important and has been enthusiastically taken up through smallholders. however it additionally demanding situations those that declare that biotechnology can take the lead in agricultural improvement by means of reading the precarious institutional foundation on which those hopes leisure in such a lot international locations. The research indicates how biotechnology’s strength contribution to agricultural improvement needs to be obvious as part of (and frequently secondary to) extra primary coverage swap. The e-book could be of curiosity to a large viewers taken with agricultural improvement. this is able to comprise teachers within the social and agricultural sciences, donor corporations and NGOs.
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Extra resources for Biotechnology and Agricultural Development Transgenic Cotton, Rural Institutions and Resource-poor Farmers
The concluding section introduces the technological innovation that will be the subject of the remainder of the book: transgenic, insect-resistant cotton. Cotton and development Cotton has been grown and used for textiles in both the Old and New World for several millennia. As the value of cotton cloth was recognized and it became an increasingly important item of trade from the sixteenth century, the expansion of cotton cultivation became central to meeting the demands of commerce and empire. 1).
12 Robert Tripp More careful analysis of the benefits and costs of increasing crop genetic diversity and assessing high-priority risks is also required (Heisey et al. 1997). But this is not to say that we should be complacent about potential threats to genetic diversity from the introduction of new crop varieties. The pressures of commercial agriculture act to limit diversity in breeding programs and increase the risk of depending on a narrow genetic base (Wilkes 1994). It is not clear what effect biotechnology will have on this pattern.
Thus the need for vigilance extends well beyond transgenic crops. Genetic engineering has the potential to create certain phenotypes that will be much more problematic than the average product of plant breeding, just as plant breeding has the potential to create certain phenotypes that will be much more problematic than the average product of genetic engineering. (Ellstrand 2003: 186, emphasis in original) Biotechnology and agricultural development 13 Similarly, a review of US regulation found that ‘[n]ontransgenic crop breeding techniques have the potential to introduce genes and genetic variation into crops that equal or surpass the novelty associated with recombinant DNA techniques’ (NRC 2002: 254).