Prospects of international initiatives in agri-food biotechnology



Although advances in ag-biotech are primarily determined by commercial considerations, the role of government policies and financial institutions (eg venture capital institutions and other financial brokers) is significant in guiding the innovation through funding of research, regulation, technology transfer legislation and appropriate patenting policies. In the developing world, market failure coupled with the absence of risk capital and ineffective regulatory government policies (biosafety, intellectual property, etc) constitute significant impediments to private investment for innovation in ag-biotech. The role of international agencies in overcoming some of the barriers for the transfer of ag-biotech to the developing world cannot be overemphasised. Programmes of international agencies concentrate on actions that strengthen the capacity of national and international research systems and facilitate the introduction of policy and institutional reforms that are conducive to investment and technology transfer. The paper focuses on trends that are emerging from such programmes and draws conclusions on their effectiveness to meet manifest needs in developing countries.

© 2001 Society of Chemical Industry