Keywords: agricultural biotechnology, research and development, R&, D, biosafety, public?private partnerships, developing countries, public sector research, innovation, information exchange, cross-sectoral research, research collaboration, genetically modified crops, GM crops, public policy, investment
Are developing-country policies and investments promoting research and research partnerships in agricultural biotechnology?
This article presents findings from two studies of public-sector research on agricultural biotechnology. The first focuses on national agricultural research organisations and universities in developing countries, while the second focuses on public?private research collaborations with international agricultural research centres. Findings suggest that a number of developing countries are, in fact, investing in research on agricultural biotechnology and genetically modified crops. Nevertheless, public policy, public awareness and investment environments may be inhibiting the understanding and diffusion of these new technologies. Findings further suggest that valuable private-sector resources are not being brought to bear on research and development, thus slowing the pace of innovation. If developing-country agriculture is to benefit from advances in biotechnology, greater effort is needed to enhance the international exchange of information, overcome barriers to cross-sectoral research collaboration, develop new approaches to product delivery, and reverse the isolation of public research institutions.