Agricultural biotechnology: the next ''green revolution''?, by World Bank. Agriculture and Rural Development Dept

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By World Bank. Agriculture and Rural Development Dept

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Cm. (World Bank technical paper, ISSN 0253-7494; no. 133) Includes bibliographical references.  Agriculture and Rural Development Dept.  Series. 1'61'091724dc20 90-20381 CIPbreak Page iii Foreword Two of the world's most pressing agricultural problems are how to provide sufficient food for the increasing populations of the developing nations and how to preserve the genetic resources of plants and microorganisms. This base includes the genetic resources of plants and animals. New hope for solutions to these problems has been found in biotechnological research.

Ultimately, these small-holdings are likely to be displaced by large farms, with centers of production moving to new areas that have developed a greater comparative advantage. Thus, technological change creates a dilemma for smaller farmers and poorer countries. Without a change in technology it will be impossible to meet the demand for basic food commodities, but if technology is introduced, it will be difficult for the small farmer to adjust to the new production circumstances. Even so, as the constraints of energy prices, environmental deterioration, and production plateaus become more pressing, the application of biotechnology will become increasingly important.

Other important novel technologies that exist could be used to improve plant virus resistance and to control pests (and thus reduce the use of pesticides). C Livestock Production Biotechnology is also being applied with some success in the livestock sector.

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