Crop Biotechnology in Developing Countries: A Conceptual Framework for Ex Ante Economic Analyses
ZEF – Discussion Papers on Development Policy No. 3
27 Pages Posted: 27 Jan 2019
Date Written: November 1998
It is now widely acknowledged that biotechnology will have significant implications for development. While biotechnology’s potential for low income economies is still the subject of controversy, this paper argues that it is precisely in these countries that food and agriculture related biotechnology could efficiently contribute to the achievement of development objectives. To date, however, biotechnological advances have been realized predominantly in industrialized countries. Policy-makers in developing countries and in development organizations are challenged to select appropriate strategies for optimally harnessing the potentials of biotechnology for the poor. Policy-oriented information on likely economic impacts of biotechnologies becomes the key parameter for guidance in program formulation, but little has been available thus far. Hitherto approaches of technology assessment proved rather inappropriate for providing such information for particular decisions. This paper presents a conceptual framework for ex ante economic studies in developing countries – a framework within which the efficiency and equity implications of specific technologies can be analysed quantitatively. Technological impacts also depend on institutional arrangements and on political support systems, dynamics that are explicitly taken into account by the proposed scenario approach. The findings of such analyses can thus provide assistance in decision-making at various phases of the technology path.
Keywords: biotechnology, technology assessment, emerging technology
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