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
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. (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
Millstone, E. and Dixon, B. (1992) ‘Our Genetic Future: the science and ethics of genetic technology, The British Medical Association, Oxford University Press
Makoni, N. and Mohamed-Katerere, J. (2006) ‘Genetically Modified Crops’ Chapter in ‘Africa Environment Outlook 2: Our Environment, Our Wealth’, UNEP
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 Kenya’ Economic 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 Kenya‘ Biotechnology and Development Monitor 48, 6-9
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
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
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