Biotechnologies and development
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CTA. 1989. Biotechnologies and development. Spore 19. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/45018
Biotechnologies and development Sasson, Albert 1988 - UNESCO/CTA 360 pp. ISBN 92-3-102426-4 Available from: UNESCO 7 Place de Fontenoy 75700 Paris FRANCE - or - CTA Postbus 380 6700 AJ Wageningen THE NETHERLANDS
Are biotechnologies going to be a panacea for the various problems the ACP countries are facing; or will they add to the disparities which already exist between less developed and industrialized nations This is an important question in the context of world development - in both North and South - and there are varying opinions on the likely consequences. Biotechnologies and development is one attempt to review the options and provide possible answers. The value of biotechnologies is that they can be applied at different levels of complexity and of investment; they can be applied in the production of food crops, livestock husbandry, the conversion of biomass into energy and the transformation of agricultural by-products. Outside agriculture they have a role in the chemical and pharmaceutcal industries and in pollution management. The chapters in this book include a review of all these areas and there is detailed description of <a new green revolution>> based on plant cell and tissue culture. Of greatest interest to ACP countries will be the achievements in oil palm, coconut, sugar cane, coffee, banana, ginger, turmeric, cardamom, papaya and yam. Many of the benefits result from the possibilities of breeding disease-free or disease-resistant clones, and it is no surprise that the majority of those crops are major plantation species, where early research has undoubtedly been spurred on bv the prospect of substanhaL economic returns. Production of flowers and pot plants grown for export is also increasmg rapidly with the aid of in vitro micropropagation. However, there is potential also for the propagation of plants with characteristics that would enable the exploitation of difficult areas - drought and salt tolerance for example - and also plants with novel qualities such as the high-intensity protein sweetners such as Thaumatococcus. Cooperation in biotechnological developments at the subregional, regional and internahonal levels would appear desirable, since it will help to stimulate research, train scientists and promote contacts between them with the intention of adapting biotechnologies to different social and economic situations. This is where UNESCO, other UN agencies and CTA have both an interest and a role to play; it also explains why UNESCO and CTA have co-published this book, which will inform a wide readership of those interested in the potential of biotechnologies for developing countries. Sasson, Albert 1988 - UNESCO/CTA 360 pp. ISBN 92-3-102426-4 Available from: UNESCO 7 Place de Fontenoy 75700 Paris FRANCE - or - CTA Postbus 380 6700 AJ Wageningen THE NETHERLANDS