Crop Biotech Update

Ten Lessons from Biotechnology Experiences in Developing Countries

April 16, 2014

The Asian Biotechnology and Development Review has published an article, "Ten Lessons from Biotechnology Experiences in Crops, Livestock, and Fish for Smallholders in Developing Countries." Written by James D. Dargie, John Ruane, and Andrea Sonnino, the article is a project by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). 

The FAO commissioned a unique series of 19 case studies where agricultural biotechnologies were used to serve the needs of smallholders in developing countries. Most involved a single crop, livestock or fish species and a single biotechnology. From the case studies, ten general and interrelated lessons were drawn that could be used to inform and assist policymakers when deciding on potential interventions involving biotechnologies for smallholders.

Some of the lessons are:

  • the need for government commitment and backing from donors and international agencies;
  • the need for partnerships, both nationally and internationally, but also with the farmers themselves; and,
  • the recognition that long-term investments in science and technology are critical, as is the appropriate integration of biotechnologies with science-based and traditional knowledge.

The study also found that planning, monitoring, and evaluation of biotechnology applications was weak and should be strengthened.

The article is available for download at: http://www.fao.org/docrep/019/as351e/as351e.pdf.