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National Agricultural Biotechnology Research Capacity in Developing Countries


  • Joel Cohen
  • John Komen
  • José Falck Zepeda


Adequate public research capacity is key to the appropriate development of biotechnology, including genetically modified (GM) crops. While commercial crops can be introduced without intensive local research (i.e. insect resistant GM cotton), introducing products of public research depend on indigenous capacity. This paper defines capacity for agricultural biotechnology research and then provides national funding levels for such work in six developing countries. As one indicator of capacity and outputs, GM crops developed from public research in developing countries are documented, and attention given to issues remaining for capacity, research and development. Knowledge of investments in public biotechnology improves policy decisions, clarifies roles of the public and private sectors, and supports public-sector implementation of research. The paper concludes with conclusions and implications based on the investment and GM crop research data presented.

Suggested Citation

  • Joel Cohen & John Komen & José Falck Zepeda, 2004. "National Agricultural Biotechnology Research Capacity in Developing Countries," Working Papers 04-14, Agricultural and Development Economics Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO - ESA).
  • Handle: RePEc:fao:wpaper:0414

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. José Benjamin Falck-Zepeda & Greg Traxler & Robert G. Nelson, 2000. "Surplus Distribution from the Introduction of a Biotechnology Innovation," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 82(2), pages 360-369.
    2. Robert Summers & Alan Heston, 1991. "The Penn World Table (Mark 5): An Expanded Set of International Comparisons, 1950–1988," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 327-368.
    3. Spielman, David J. & von Grebmer, Klaus, 2004. "Public-private partnerships in agricultural research: an analysis of challenges facing industry and the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research," EPTD discussion papers 113, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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    Cited by:

    1. Alarcon, Enrique & Artunduaga, Rodrigo, 0. "Latin America and the Caribbean: The New Agro-biotechnologies, Challenges, Trends, and Institutional Considerations," Comuniica Magazine, Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture, June.
    2. Seife Ayele & David Wield, 2005. "Science and technology capacity building and partnership in African agriculture: perspectives on Mali and Egypt," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(5), pages 631-646.

    More about this item


    Agricultural development; Agricultural research; Biochemical engineering; Biosafety; Biotechnology; Crops; Developing countries; Farming systems; Financing; Genetic engineering; Genetically modified organisms; Plant biotechnology; Technological changes; Technology.;

    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy
    • Q16 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - R&D; Agricultural Technology; Biofuels; Agricultural Extension Services


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