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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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID 41223517-e83c-4eb9-6f05-04b16d4134d8
Grouping Title starved for science how biotechnology is being kept out of africa
Grouping Author paarlberg robert l
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2018-10-03 04:49:02AM
Last Indexed 2018-12-13 04:52:23AM

Solr Details

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author Paarlberg, Robert L.
author_display Paarlberg, Robert L
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item_details ils:.b13070769|.i13440469|Central Adult Nonfiction|630.9 PAARL|||1|false|false|||||On Shelf|May 18, 2015|can||
itype_arlington Hardback
last_indexed 2018-12-13T09:52:23.191Z
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literary_form Non Fiction
literary_form_full Non Fiction
local_callnumber_arlington 630.9 PAARL
owning_library_arlington Arlington Public Library, Aurora Hills, Central, Cherrydale, Columbia Pike, Connection Crystal City, Detention Center, Glencarlyn, Local History, Plaza, Shirlington, Westover
owning_location_arlington Central
primary_isbn 9780674029736
publishDate 2008
record_details ils:.b13070769|Book|Books||English|Harvard University Press,|2008.|xv, 235 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm.
recordtype grouped_work
Bib IdItem IdGrouped StatusStatusLocally OwnedAvailableHoldableBookableIn Library Use OnlyLibrary OwnedHoldable PTypesBookable PTypesLocal Url
ils:.b13070769 .i13440469 On Shelf On Shelf false true true false false true 9999
subject_facet Agricultural biotechnology -- Africa, Agriculture and state -- Africa, Crops -- Genetic engineering -- 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_sub how biotechnology is being kept out of Africa