The Role of the Private Sector in Providing Biotechnology Access to the Poor

  • Bernard Convent


The potential of biotechnology to benefit the poor in developing countries is large, and yet, due to economic/regulatory reasons, private-sector research efforts focus on a limited number of key global crops, neglecting many relevant crops and traits that are important to small-scale subsistence farmers. Although it is not within the goals of private companies to develop end-technologies for use in the leastdeveloped countries, these companies could play a more important role in providing intermediary technologies. Certain minimum scientific and regulatory capacities are required to further allow the adaptation of these intermediary technologies to local needs, and in many cases, developing these capacities will require international public assistance. The only way forward is to strengthen privatepublic sector partnerships that focus on specific projects.


Private Sector Private Company Intellectual Property Protection Intermediary Technology Proprietary Technology 
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  1. James, C. (1999): Global Review of Commercialized Transgenic Crops: 1999. ISAAA Briefs, No. 12, International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications, Ithaca, NY.Google Scholar
  2. USDA/APHIS (2000): Biotechnology Permits. United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, data retrieved from the internet: http://www.aphis.usda.govbiotech/.

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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2000

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  • Bernard Convent

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