|Home > Biotechnology: Scientific Potential and Socioeconomic Implications for Agriculture|
While genetic engineering has caught public attention, the associated advances in both cell fusion and tissue and cell culture hold more immediate promise for improving agricultural productivity. The potential of these biotechnologies for manipulating micro-organisms, improving plant production systems, improving animal and insect systems, and for industrial tissue culture, is briefly reviewed. The coming Biorevolution in agriculture will have much greater socio-economic impact than the Green Revolution. The distribution of these effects, both within and between countries, will be greatly influenced by private property rights. Biotechnology is not going to be a "quick fix" for the world food problem. Indeed, unless governments can meet the socio-economic policy challenges ahead, the Biorevolution will exacerbate the current paradox of famine in the midst of surplus.