Welfare Prospects of Transgenic Crops in Developing Countries

  • Matin Qaim


This paper describes an ex ante analytical framework that can assist in analyzing the potential welfare impacts of specified crop biotechnologies in developing countries. In a case-study approach, the expected effects of virus- and weevil-resistant sweetpotatoes in Kenya and of virus-resistant potatoes in Mexico are scrutinized. Built upon recombinant methods, these technologies are being developed within joint public-private sector research initiatives. The resulting applications will be released in the near future and, because traditional cultivation practices do not need to be altered, they will easily be integrated into existing farming systems. The quantitative results indicate that the innovations are likely to bring about significant welfare gains for agricultural producers and consumers. These examples confirm that biotechnology can offer cost-effective solutions to a wide range of agricultural and food problems in developing countries. To actualize this potential in a broader context, however, requires decisive policy support at national and international levels.


Transgenic Crop International Agricultural Research Economic Surplus Sweet Potato Feathery Mottle Virus Unit Cost Reduction 
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2000

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  • Matin Qaim

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