The International Consortium on Agricultural Biotechnology Research (ICABR)


Institutions and Agricultural Biotechnology

A Case Study of India


Suresh Babu,

Sivramiah Shantharam,

Valerie Rhoe,

International Food Policy Research Institute,



The transfer of agricultural biotechnology and its adoption in developing countries largely depend on enabling policies and institutions. Given the special challenges that agricultural biotechnologies face in developing countries in terms of field-testing, environmental risk assessments and bio-safety evaluations, the structure, conduct and performance of institutions involved in these activities play an important role in deciding both the speed and the success of biotechnology transfers. This paper looks at institutional framework that is necessary for both successful biotechnology generation and biotechnology transfers to developing countries. Using the case study of India, this paper analyzes the institutions involved in biotechnology research extension and adoption of biotechnology at various levels—research laboratories to farmers’ fields. Several lessons are derived from the Indian case study for institutional organization that will lead to the successful adoption of biotechnology. The paper argues that not only institutions in general, but also the organization of institutions matters in meeting the emerging challenges of biotechnology research, extension and training that will assist in reducing food insecurity, poverty, and malnutrition.

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