The gene hunters
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CTA. 1989. The gene hunters. Spore 22. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/45116
Calestous Juma 1989.'The Gene Hunters : Biotechnology and the Scramble for Seeds' ISBN 0 86232 640 0. Available from: Zed Books Ltd 57 Caledonia Road London NW1 9BU UK
Biotechnology has the potential to be the seed of the next Green Revolution - that is the argument put forward by Calestous Juma in 'The Gene Hunters'. The book's sub- title,'Biotechnology and the Scramble for Seeds' gives a clue to the historical perspective in which the author puts today's biotechnological research. Centuries agogbotanists and explorers collected plants from across the New World to introduce to Europe. The introduction of this new genetic material brought great wealth to many people. Today, the author argues, the new genetic material produced by biotechnologists can mirror this, and increase the prosperity of farmers in Africa and the rest of the Third World. This book, the first in the African Centre for Technology Studies Research Series, looks at the historical importance of the genetic material of plants to international economies and explains its role in socio-economic evolution. It considers the arguments for and against the Green Revolution and explains the implications of the latest developments in genetic research to the Third World in general and to Africa in particular. The final two chapters consider how a country's policies on genetic resources and technology affect its ability to benefit from biotechnology firstly with a casestudy on Kenya and then with suggested guidelines on national policies for genetic resource conservahon and biotechnology development. The message of 'The Gene Hunters' is a posihve one - biotechnology is an 'appropriate' technology for the decentralized populations of Africa, which lends itself to popular participation. Now is the time, according to Calestous Juma, when African countries must make the decisions that will enable them to keep abreast of the changes in world agriculture that biotechnology is making. Calestous Juma 1989.'The Gene Hunters' ISBN 0 86232 640 0. Available from: Zed Books Ltd 57 Caledonia Road London NW1 9BU UK