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This book provides a unique description of the practical problems of and possible solutions for the collection, conservation and use of Third World genetic resources. It explains the relevant concepts, as well as the types and importance of genetic resources. The author analyses the political and economic issues involved, including property rights, the reasons for having national genetic resource programmes, and the role of international bodies like the IBPGR and CGIAR. Against this background the author argues that individual countries can set up, finance and benefit from much more economical and effective programmes of their own.