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Theme 1: Poverty reduction and food security: impacts of GM crops

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Overview

Research in this section asks: what have been the impacts of GM crops on poverty and food security? Studies include broad international overviews to particular case studies from India and China. The emphasis across this work is on the social and economic differentiation of impacts on diverse rural livelihoods.

Key findings include:

  • Aggregate statistics and scenarios are insufficient predictors of food insecurity, and may offer a misleading picture based on food gaps – disparities between overall demand and supply.
  • Agricultural production technologies may not always be the major limiting factors: market access, input supplies, environmental contexts etc. may be as important.
  • Poverty and food insecurity emerge from local contexts; locally-tailored solutions must be the answer.
  • Biotechnological solutions beyond GM crops, including marker-assisted selection, may be more appropriate.
  • Varietal choice and integrated crop/soil/pest management approaches may be as important to boosting production as new genetic traits.

Theme 1 Archive

General

Brooks, S. (2013) “Biofortification: lessons from the Golden Rice project”, Food Chain, 3(1-2) 77-88

Glover, D. (2009) Undying Promise: Agricultural biotechnology’s pro-poor narrative, ten years on, STEPS Working Paper 15, Brighton, UK: STEPS Centre.

Newell, P. (2006), Agricultural biotechnology and development. Report for International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development, Geneva,

Newell, P. (2006): ‘Biotechnology’ in Robertson, Roland, and Jan Aart Scholte, (eds) Encyclopedia of Globalization. New York: Routledge,

Brooks, S. (2005), Biotechnology and the Politics of Truth: From the Green Revolution to an ‘Evergreen Revolution’, Sociologia Ruralis, Vol. 45, No. 4

Mayer, S. and Stirling, A. (2004), GM crops: good or bad? EMBO Reports, 2004 November; 5(11): 1021–1024

Scoones, I (2004) Debating GM crops (editorial), Insights 52

Glover, D. (2003), Bt cotton: benefits for poor farmers?, Democratising Biotechnology: Genetically Modified Crops in Developing Countries Briefing Series, Briefing 9. Brighton, UK: IDS

Scoones, I. (2003), Can agricultural biotechnology be pro-poor?, Democratising Biotechnology: Genetically Modified Crops in Developing Countries Briefing Series, Briefing 2. Brighton, UK: IDS

Scoones, I. (2002), Agricultural biotechnology and food security: exploring the debate, IDS Working Paper 145, Biotechnology Policy Series 1. Brighton, UK: IDS

Scoones, I. (2002), Can agricultural biotechnology be pro-poor? A sceptical look at the emerging consensus, IDS Bulletin 33 (4), October: 114-119. Brighton, UK: IDS

Newell, P. (2001). ‘Biotechnology for the Poor?Science as CultureVolume 10 No.2 pp.249-254,

Millstone, E. (2000) ‘Analysing Biotechnology’s Traumas‘, New Genetics and Society, Vol. 19, No 2, , pp. 117-132

Millstone, E. and Dixon, B. (1992) ‘Our Genetic Future: the science and ethics of genetic technology, The British Medical Association, Oxford University Press

Africa

Makoni, N. and Mohamed-Katerere, J. (2006) ‘Genetically Modified Crops’ Chapter in ‘Africa Environment Outlook 2: Our Environment, Our Wealth’, UNEP

Scoones, I (2006). Can GM crops prevent famine in Africa? In: Devereux, S. et al (eds.). New Famines. Routledge: London.
Download a prepublication version of this chapter.

Ely, A. V. (2003) ‘Evaluation of Environmental Risks of Bt Maize in the US and EU: Lessons and Challenges for Kenya’ produced for the Institute of Development Studies, Brighton, UK

Glover, D. (2003), Biotechnology for Africa? ,Democratising Biotechnology: Genetically Modified Crops in Developing Countries Briefing Series, Briefing 10. Brighton, UK: IDS

Keeley, J. and Scoones, I. (2003), Seeds in a Globalised World: Agricultural Biotechnology in Zimbabwe, IDS Working Paper 189, Biotechnology Policy Series 8. Brighton, UK: IDS

Odame, H. (2002), Smallholder Access to Biotechnology: Case of Rhizobium inocula in KenyaEconomic and Political Weekly [India] 37 (27) (Review of Science Studies), 6-12 July: 2748-55

Odame, H., Kameri-Mbote, P. and Wafula, D. (2002), Innovation and Policy Process: Case of Transgenic Sweet Potato in Kenya, Economic and Political Weekly [India] 37 (27) (Review of Science Studies), 6-12 July: 2770-7

Mwangi, P. and Ely, A. (2001) ‘Assessing risks and benefits: Bt maize in KenyaBiotechnology and Development Monitor 48, 6-9

China

Huang, J., Hu, R., Fan, C., Pray, C., and Rozelle, S. (2003), Bt cotton benefits, costs and impacts in China, IDS Working Paper 202, Biotechnology Policy Series 5. Brighton, UK: IDS

Huang, J., Hu, R., Wang, Q., Keeley, J., and Falck-Zepeda, J. (2002),Agricultural Biotechnology Policy and Impact in China, Economic and Political Weekly [India] 37 (27) (Review of Science Studies), 6-12 July: 2756-61

India

Shah, E. (2008), “What Makes Crop Biotechnology Find Its Roots? The Technological Culture of Bt Cotton in Gujarat,” European Journal of Development Research, 20, 432-447.

Scoones, I (2007) Comment on Stone, G. Beyond Agricultural Deskilling and the Spread of Genetically Modified Cotton in Warangal. Current Anthropology 48: 93-4

Scoones, I (2006) Science, Agriculture and the Politics of Policy: the case of biotechnology in India. Orient Longman: Delhi

Shah, E. (2005), “Local and Global Elites Join Hands: Development and Diffusion of Bt Cotton Technology in Gujarat,” Economic and Political Weekly, 40, 4629-4639.

Scoones, I. (2003), Regulatory manoeuvres: The Bt cotton controversy in India, IDS Working Paper 197, Biotechnology Policy Series 14. Brighton, UK: IDS

Seshia, S. and Scoones, I. (2003), Tracing policy connections: the politics of knowledge in the Green Revolution and biotechnology eras in India, IDS Working Paper 188, Biotechnology Policy Series 21. Brighton, UK: IDS

Visvanathan, S. and Parmar, C. (2003), Social constructions of Bt Cotton, Biotechnology Policy Series 15. Brighton, UK: IDS


Browse the rest of the archive

To browse the other themes, visit the Biotechnology Research Archive homepage.

 

One Response to “Theme 1: Poverty reduction and food security: impacts of GM crops”

  1. […] data, and found very little in the way of hard evidence to support the claims made. Others have provided similar assessments. Yes, GM pest-resistant cotton has been a success, but has it always benefited the poor and […]

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