Adoption Of Biotechnology In Developing Countries

Holly Ameden,1 Matin Qaim,2 and David Zilberman3

xPh.D. Candidate, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, 207 Giannini Hall, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720; 2Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics and Social Sciences, University of Hohenheim, 70593 Stuttgart German; 3 Professor, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, 207 Giannini Hall, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720

Abstract: This chapter identifies the factors that lead to the adoption of genetically modified varieties in developing countries and the sources of differences in the impacts and patterns of adoption of biotechnology between developed and developing countries. We present the finding of our model analyzing the profitability of pest-controlling biotechnologies. The model shows that in locations with mild pest issues, adoption of GMVs is likely to result in reduced pesticide use while in areas with high infestation levels, as is the case in many developing countries, adoption of GMVs will have both a pesticide-reducing and a yield-enhancing effect. Thus, successful adoption of biotechnologies in developing countries will depend on the availability of technologies appropriate for local agricultural conditions, and policies that enhance the ability of poor farmers to obtain these technologies such an affordable pricing schemes and credit programs. Following the conceptual model, the chapter provides some of the empirical findings on adoption of biotechnology for both developed and developing countries, discusses adoption and biosafety issues and, in the last section, synthesizes our results and provides further policy conclusions.

Keywords: biotechnology; developing countries; technology adoption; technology diffusion.

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