230 pages, 4 figs
Tropical crops such as cowpea, yam, plantain, and cassava are heavily underresearched but, in addition to rice, maize, wheat, and potato, are important as primary or secondary food staples in the developing countries. The modern tools of molecular and cellular technology offer the opportunity not only to make substantial gains in knowledge of these crops, but also they overcome some of the obstacles which presently restrain both the genetic improvement and the productivity of these crops in tropical farming systems. Increased nutritional value of these crops, reduced post-harvest perishability, and lower costs of production are some of the advantages taken from biotechnology. Engineered genetic resistance would also allow to drastically reduce employment of pesticides, which at present are expensive or unavailable for farmers in developing countries and may create environmental and health hazards. In this book, experts present opportunities to improve the efficiency of plant breeding programs also taking into account the ethical and sociopolitical aspects of these technologies.
... As the chapters are written by most recognised experts of their respective fields excellent overviews on the recent level of gene technology applied to food crops can be obtained easily. A book for everyone really interested in the application of gene technology to plants, not only in developing countries ! Lebensmittel und Biotechnologie "This book achieves a good balance of background scientific information on food crops in developing countries and information on the social environment which has given these crops their importance to a particular society ... It is a strength of this book that the scientific chapters also attempt to cover the socio-political aspects ..." BioTeCH forum "The first chapters of the book discuss the ethical and socio-political aspects of crop improvement ... It is a strength of this book that the scientific chapters also attempt to cover the socio-political aspects ... presented in the early chapters. For most of the crops discussed ... the analysis of the science is accompanied by a discussion on risk assessment, biosafety and programs for farmer participation in defining goals and priorities of research programs." BIO WORLD
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