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Could agricultural biotechnology contibute to poverty alleviation?

This paper aims to provide a broad overview of a range of developments in agricultural biotechnology, primarily focusing on the public policy issue of how access to some agricultural biotechnologies might benefit poorer farmers in developing countries. The author concludes that while there is little doubt that biotechnologies will contribute to food security through increasing the aggregate supply of food, whether such a contribution will be felt by the poorest sectors of society will depend to some extent on the objectives towards which the technologies are applied. Current trends in private sector investment in suggest that only commercially lucrative markets, crops and clients are likely to be served by biotechnology research in the near future.

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