Starved for science: how biotechnology is being kept out of Africa

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Harvard University Press,
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Listen to a short interview with Robert PaarlbergHost: Chris Gondek | Producer: Heron & Crane

Heading upcountry in Africa to visit small farms is absolutely exhilarating given the dramatic beauty of big skies, red soil, and arid vistas, but eventually the two-lane tarmac narrows to rutted dirt, and the journey must continue on foot. The farmers you eventually meet are mostly women, hardworking but visibly poor. They have no improved seeds, no chemical fertilizers, no irrigation, and with their meager crops they earn less than a dollar a day. Many are malnourished.

Nearly two-thirds of Africans are employed in agriculture, yet on a per-capita basis they produce roughly 20 percent less than they did in 1970. Although modern agricultural science was the key to reducing rural poverty in Asia, modern farm science—including biotechnology—has recently been kept out of Africa.

In Starved for Science Robert Paarlberg explains why poor African farmers are denied access to productive technologies, particularly genetically engineered seeds with improved resistance to insects and drought. He traces this obstacle to the current opposition to farm science in prosperous countries. Having embraced agricultural science to become well-fed themselves, those in wealthy countries are now instructing Africans—on the most dubious grounds—not to do the same.

In a book sure to generate intense debate, Paarlberg details how this cultural turn against agricultural science among affluent societies is now being exported, inappropriately, to Africa. Those who are opposed to the use of agricultural technologies are telling African farmers that, in effect, it would be just as well for them to remain poor.

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Grouped Work ID 41223517-e83c-4eb9-6f05-04b16d4134d8
full_title starved for science how biotechnology is being kept out of africa
author paarlberg robert l
grouping_category book
lastUpdate 2017-08-14 05:04:32AM

Solr Details

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author Paarlberg, Robert L.
author-letter Paarlberg, Robert L.
author_additional Robert Paarlberg ; [with a foreword by Norman E. Borlaug and Jimmy Carter].
author_display Paarlberg, Robert L
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oclc (OCoLC)176986120
owning_library_arlington Arlington Public Library, Aurora Hills, Central, Cherrydale, Columbia Pike, Connection Crystal City, Detention Center, Glencarlyn, Local History, Plaza, Shirlington, Westover
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physical xv, 235 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.
popularity 3
primary_isbn 9780674029736
publishDate 2008
publishDateSort 2008
publisher Harvard University Press,
rating 2.5
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record_details ils:.b13070769|Book|Books||English|Harvard University Press,|2008.|xv, 235 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.
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subject_facet Agricultural biotechnology -- Africa, Agriculture and state -- Africa, Crops -- Genetic engineering -- Africa
table_of_contents Foreword / by Norman E. Borlaug and Jimmy Carter -- Preface -- Introduction : Why are Africans rejecting biotechnology? -- Why rich countries dislike agricultural GMOs -- Downgrading agricultural science in rich countries -- Withdrawing support for agricultural science in Africa -- Keeping genetically engineered crops out of Africa -- Drought-tolerant crops : only for the rich? -- Conclusion : an imperialism of rich tastes.
target_audience Adult
target_audience_full Adult
title Starved for science : how biotechnology is being kept out of Africa
title_display Starved for science : how biotechnology is being kept out of Africa
title_full Starved for science : how biotechnology is being kept out of Africa / Robert Paarlberg ; [with a foreword by Norman E. Borlaug and Jimmy Carter]
title_short Starved for science :
title_sort starved for science how biotechnology is being kept out of africa
title_sub how biotechnology is being kept out of Africa