This paper provides a helpful overview of the history, current status and potential value of biotechnology from an African perspective. The authors — three Nigerian scientists — review modern biotechnological tools and techniques, outline their applications, and discuss their benefits and risks.

They focus on the relevance of microbial techniques for fermentation and food processing in developing countries. They also discuss how technologies such as genetic modification can be used to enhance food products' nutritional quality and shelf-life, boost crop yields, develop disease and pest-resistant crop varieties, and diagnose plant diseases.

The authors discuss the key socio-economic, policy and legal issues surrounding biotechnology for developing countries, including intellectual property rights and the need for proper infrastructure.


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