Has agricultural biotechnology finally turned a corner?

Denis Murphy, Ivar Virgin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Governments, NGOs and other civil society representatives should engage in a comprehensive public debate on how advances in agbiotech, can benefit smallholders in developing countries by producing more sustainable food systems and improving nutrition in view of changing climate and resource scarcity. In particular genome editing in crop and livestock improvement should be accommodated. Governments across the world should urgently address the issue of how biotech-derived crops are regulated, especially in view of recent developments in genome editing for crop and livestock improvement A public sector led initiative, possibly coordinated by FAO, should be set up to investigate the feasibility of developing open-source biotechnologies (especially genome editing) for use in public-good applications in developing countries. Increasing support should be given to Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) to increase agbiotech innovation. This would include support for the public R&D sector, particularly in developing countries, where there is enormous scope for adaptation of bioscience advances. It would also mean more support, not the least with incubation services, for PPPs to target low profit markets with high social impact, so contributing to sustainable development.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWorld Agriculture
Publication statusPublished - 13 May 2016


  • biotechnology
  • developing countries
  • smallholders
  • food and agriculture
  • organization
  • genetic modification
  • genome
  • breeding


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