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Biotechnology: Scientific Potential and Socioeconomic Implications for Agriculture


  • Longworth, John W.


While genetic engineering has caught public attention, the associated advances in both cell fusion and tissue and cell culture hold more immediate promise for improving agricultural productivity. The potential of these biotechnologies for manipulating micro-organisms, improving plant production systems, improving animal and insect systems, and for industrial tissue culture, is briefly reviewed. The coming Biorevolution in agriculture will have much greater socio-economic impact than the Green Revolution. The distribution of these effects, both within and between countries, will be greatly influenced by private property rights. Biotechnology is not going to be a "quick fix" for the world food problem. Indeed, unless governments can meet the socio-economic policy challenges ahead, the Biorevolution will exacerbate the current paradox of famine in the midst of surplus.

Suggested Citation

  • Longworth, John W., 1987. "Biotechnology: Scientific Potential and Socioeconomic Implications for Agriculture," Review of Marketing and Agricultural Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 55(03), December.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:remaae:12429

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Feder, Gershon & Just, Richard E & Zilberman, David, 1985. "Adoption of Agricultural Innovations in Developing Countries: A Survey," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(2), pages 255-298, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Anderson, Jock R. & Herdt, Robert W., 1988. "The Impact of New Technology on Foodgrain Productivity to the Next Century," 1988 Conference, August 24-31, 1988, Buenos Aires, Argentina 183162, International Association of Agricultural Economists.


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