140 pages, 30 illus
The authors begin by describing the origins of China's earliest agrarian civilizations and how agricultural technology historically contributed to the emergence, rise, and fall of states and dynasties. The book then focuses on how post-industrial advances in chemistry and biology led to the development of technologies (including high-yielding seeds, pesticides, and fertilizers) that ushered in a period of expanding global harvests in the mid-20th Century known as the Green Revolution. The political, economic, and social factors that influenced the patterns of adoption as well as the successes and shortcomings of Green Revolution technologies in China are then explored in detail.
The authors then introduce transgenic crops - the origins, tools and techniques, and initial patterns of market acceptance or rejection worldwide - describe in depth why, where, and how research on transgenic crops first began in China. This section evaluates the effectiveness of policies that promoted science and technology development as part of the post-1978 reform agenda, and suggests why support for agricultural biotechnology-and transgenic crops in particular-was included alongside land and market reforms. The authors move on to questions related to adoption of transgenic crops in China, looking first at how structural changes in the seed industry and the introduction of value-added varieties are changing age-old relationships between farmers and seed providers. In the final chapters, the authors present how well suited transgenic crops may be to meeting persistent and emerging challenges facing China's agricultural sector today.
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