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From the Green Revolution to the Gene Revolution: How will the Poor Fare?

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  • Prabhu Pingali

    (Agricultural and Development Economics Division, Food and Agriculture Organization)

  • Terri Raney

    (Agricultural and Development Economics Division, Food and Agriculture Organization)

Abstract

The past four decades have seen two waves of agricultural technology development and diffusion to developing countries. The first wave was initiated by the Green Revolution in which an explicit strategy for technology development and diffusion targeting poor farmers in poor countries made improved germplasm freely available as a public good. The second wave was generated by the Gene Revolution in which a global and largely private agricultural research system is creating improved agricultural technologies that flow to developing countries primarily through market transactions. The Green Revolution strategy for food crop productivity growth was based on the premise that, given appropriate institutional mechanisms, technology spillovers across political and agro-climatic boundaries can be captured. A number of significant asymmetries exist between developed and developing, e.g.: agricultural systems, market institutions and research and regulatory capacity. These asymmetries raise doubts as to whether the Gene Revolution has the same capacity to generate spillover benefits for the poor. A strong public sector – working cooperatively with the private sector – is essential to ensure that the poor benefit from the Gene Revolution.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Agricultural and Development Economics Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO - ESA) in its series Working Papers with number 05-09.

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Length: 17 pages
Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fao:wpaper:0509

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Related research

Keywords: Agricultural Biotechnology; Agricultural Research; Technological Change; Economic Development.;

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Cited by:
  1. Rao, N. Chandrasekhara & Dev, S. Mahendra, 2009. "Socio-economic Impact of Transgenic Cotton," Agricultural Economics Research Review, Agricultural Economics Research Association (India), vol. 22(2009).
  2. Liverpool-Tasie, Saweda & Olaniyan, Babatunde & Salau, Sheu & Sackey, James, 2010. "A review of fertilizer policy issues in Nigeria:," NSSP working papers 19, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

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