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Policy options of agricultural biotechnology R&D in Sub-Saharan Africa: key issues and aspects

By Robert M. Yawson and Ivy Yawson


This paper reviews the status of Agricultural Biotechnology in Sub-Saharan Africa. It addresses the potential economic benefits to Sub-Saharan Africa and the effect biotechnology policies may have on growth, production and poverty reduction. The extent to which agricultural biotechnology will compound or mitigate the constraints faced by smallholders/subsistence farmers is also discussed. The status of crop biotechnology research worldwide is reviewed and the influence of intellectual property rights (IPRs) and market concentration on the development and diffusion of biotechnology in Sub-Saharan Africa is analyzed. The paper also explores the potential of public-private partnerships and recommends policy measures and investments that could focus more biotechnology research on the problems of the poor and alleviate some of the concerns about the impacts of biotechnology.

Topics: N57 - Africa; Oceania, O5 - Economywide Country Studies, N2 - Financial Markets and Institutions, L65 - Chemicals; Rubber; Drugs; Biotechnology, Q16 - R&D; Agricultural Technology; Biofuels; Agricultural Extension Services, O1 - Economic Development, N77 - Africa; Oceania, L2 - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior, P3 - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions, N5 - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment, and Extractive Industries, N1 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations, N67 - Africa; Oceania, N6 - Manufacturing and Construction, L6 - Industry Studies: Manufacturing, O13 - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Other Primary Products, N7 - Transport, Trade, Energy, Technology, and Other Services, P32 - Collectives; Communes; Agriculture, L24 - Contracting Out; Joint Ventures; Technology Licensing, O14 - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology, Q1 - Agriculture, O55 - Africa, Q17 - Agriculture in International Trade, N17 - Africa; Oceania
Year: 2008
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