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Biotechnology and Sustainable Agriculture: Lessons from India

Ghayur Alam

No 103, OECD Development Centre Working Papers from OECD Publishing

Abstract: India's self-sufficiency in food production has been achieved by the adoption of chemicals-intensive farming methods which have contributed to serious deterioration of the environment. New evironmentally-friendly technologies, which maintain (or increase) current levels of productivity, are needed if the use of chemical inputs is to be reduced. This study examines the development and diffusion of biotechnologies in India, with respect to both products derived from conventional biological methods and those using the more advanced techniques of molecular biology.Thus far, the contribution of available biofertilisers and biopesticides to reduced use of agro-chemicals is marginal, due to the vicious circle created by problems of supply as well as demand. By and large, biofertilisers and biopesticides are being produced on a small scale, using inefficient technologies. Inconsistent quality and poor performance thus combine to limit demand and their acceptance by farmers which, in ... L'Inde est parvenue à l'autosuffisance alimentaire en adoptant des méthodes de culture à forte utilisation de produits chimiques. Ceux-ci ont gravement détérioré l'environnement. Limiter le recours aux engrais chimiques implique des technologies nouvelles moins dommageables, capables néanmoins de maintenir ou d'augmenter les niveaux actuels de productivité. Cette étude examine le développement et la diffusion des biotechnologies en Inde en se référant à la fois aux produits issus des méthodes biologiques conventionnelles et à ceux utilisant les techniques de pointe de la biologie moléculaire.Jusqu'à maintenant, l'utilisation des fertilisants et des pesticides biologiques qui permettent de réduire l'emploi des engrais chimiques est marginale à cause du cercle vicieux que posent les problèmes de l'offre et de la demande. D'une manière générale, les fertilisants et les pesticides biologiques ne sont fabriqués qu'en petite quantité et avec des technologies peu efficaces. L'absence ...

Date: 1994-12-01
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