Jose Falck Zepeda presentation on biotechnology and developing countries Georgetown University april 2014


Published on

In my presentation I describe the foundation frameworks for improving crop production in developing countries firmly based on the successes, failures and issues identified during the Green Revolution. I describe the status of Genetically Modified Biotechnology in developed and developing countries,describe the regulatory activities that examine environmental/biodiversity and food/feed safety, as GM bio-technologies are the only regulated biotechnologies globally with a few exceptions. I describe our experiences and issues related to socioeconomic assessments of potential and actual impacts of GM crops in Uganda, Philippines, Colombia and Honduras. I summarize some lessons and conclusions learned in this process.

Published in: Science
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

Jose Falck Zepeda presentation on biotechnology and developing countries Georgetown University april 2014

  1. 1. Program for Biosafety Systems – “Biotechnology and Developing Countries” José Falck Zepeda Senior Research Fellow International Food Policy Research Institute - Program for Biosafety Systems (IFPRI - PBS) Presentation made at Georgetown University,April 2014
  2. 2. Program for Biosafety Systems – Content 1. Background and conceptual framework 2. Biotechnology as a tool 3. GM biotechnology as the regulated technology 4. Socioeconomic assessment experiences 5. Concluding comments
  3. 3. Program for Biosafety Systems – The challenge according to FAO • To feed a population of 9 billion persons by 2050, without allowing for additional imports of food, continents have to increase their food production roughly: – Africa 300% – Latin America 80% – Asia 70% – Even the US has to increase food production by 30% just to supply food for the projected population of 348 million person
  4. 4. Program for Biosafety Systems – “New” constraints • Erosion, water and irrigation problems • Climate change => Global warming? • Soil fertility • Urbanization and land being retired from production • Consumer concerns about intensive agriculture: Organic, Fair Trade • Competition from biofuels production • Social, philosophical, ethical and religious concerns over the food production system • Concerns over globalization and corporate control of agriculture • …
  5. 5. Program for Biosafety Systems – The Green Revolution • Transformation of agriculture during 1940s-1970s that lead to significant increases in yields • Firmly based on: – Agricultural production needs to keep pace with population growth – Agricultural sciences philosophy of maximizing production per unit of land – Plant breeding developments of the late 19th early 20th centuries • Initially focused on a few crops (Wheat, rice, maize) but has been expanded
  6. 6. Program for Biosafety Systems – The Green Revolution: A 1967 Frame of Mind • Haiti Can’t- be-saved • Egypt Can’t-be-saved • The Gambia Walking Wounded • Tunisia Should Receive Food • Libya Walking Wounded • India Can’t-be-saved • Pakistan Should Receive Food - Paul and William Paddock, 1967 book “Famine 1975!”
  7. 7. Program for Biosafety Systems – Norman Bourlag: Father of the Green Revolution • Developed the wheat program that later became CIMMYT in 1963 – Shuttle breeding – Incorporate short-stature genes into wheat – Increased yield and rust resistance in wheat • Mexico: – 1948 self sufficient wheat producer – 1965 Net exporter • Won Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 and World Food Prize • Genesis of the Consultative Group of International Agricultural Research ( CGIAR)
  8. 8. Program for Biosafety Systems – How was the Green Revolution possible? An agronomist perspective on a technological triumph as an engineering feat… • Incorporation of a dwarfing genes from natural populations into wheat and rice • In maize: more vertical orientation of leaves, reduces self-shading while allowing planting of narrower rows and thus increases in densities • Plants bred to dedicate a larger share of photosynthesis efforts to grain rather than to stems and leaves – Harvest index of older varieties was 20% whereas HYV around 50-55% • Relatively insensitive to day length – can be planted in a wider range of latitudes • Increased responsiveness to fertilizer and water
  9. 9. Program for Biosafety Systems – Green Revolution: Successes • Significant increases in yields and production – From 1950 to 1992, the world’s grain output rose from 692 million tons produced on 1.70 billion acres of cropland to 1.9 billion tons on 1.73 billion acres – India: food production increased from 50 to 205 million tons during the last 5 decades – But, barely happened in Sub-Saharan Africa • Economic output per hectare increases significantly • 30% increase in cereal and calorie availability per person • Poverty reductions—some studies show this is attributed to GR raising farmers incomes
  10. 10. Program for Biosafety Systems – Green Revolution: Social and Economic Criticisms • Does not address underlying social, cultural, ethnical and institutional constraints that create vulnerability and thus affect livelihoods – Is hunger and food insecurity a question of production or unequal distribution of resources? • Increased mechanization affected rural labor employment • Debt effects and credit institutions necessary • Technology not scale neutral – Uneven adoption as larger/wealthier farmers adopted first capturing larger share of benefits • Landowner/Landholder displacement • Dependence on pesticides and fertilizers
  11. 11. Program for Biosafety Systems – Green Revolution: Environmental/Ecological Criticisms • Loss of agricultural biodiversity, not so clear effect on wild biodiversity – Focus on few crops => monocultures • Increased used of pesticides and the pesticide treadmill • Increased use of fertilizers • Irrigation – Negative impacts of salinization, damage to soils, and lowering of water tables – Need to build dams and irrigation systems
  12. 12. Program for Biosafety Systems – Lessons Learned • Increasing agricultural productivity is necessary but not sufficient to guarantee food security • Scale neutral technologies • Knowledge transfer to/from farmers • Need to consider agriculture within the social, political, economic, national/international context • We can’t continue proposing “technology-only solutions” to complex problems....nevertheless technological responses are indeed critical to the “solution” • Learn from mistakes and inexperience to come up with better alternatives => Policy options, strategies and outcomes
  13. 13. Program for Biosafety Systems – CGIAR Changing Paradigm Agronomic Paradigm • Increase production • Maximize yields • Improve fertilizer and water efficiency Sustainable Agriculture Paradigm • Improve and/or maximize livelihoods • Reduce vulnerability • Environmental / ecological • Gender • Collective action • Sustainable intensification Time Production Economics Paradigm • Maximize profit or net not the maximum yield
  14. 14. Program for Biosafety Systems – 2. Biotechnology as a tool
  15. 15. Program for Biosafety Systems – What is biotechnology? • Manipulation of living organisms for a useful purpose • Definition that covers a broad range of techniques – Traditional: Plant breeding, tissue culture, micro- propagation – Modern: Marker assisted selection, Genetic Modifications and Genomics • Only GM products are currently regulated for biosafety
  16. 16. Program for Biosafety Systems – GM Biotechnology – What is its status?
  17. 17. Program for Biosafety Systems – A reality check?
  18. 18. Program for Biosafety Systems – Diffusion to developing countries
  19. 19. Program for Biosafety Systems – Implications for developing country agriculture • Majority expansion is in four crops and two traits (insect protection and herbicide tolerance) produced by industrialized countries for its agriculture • Diffusion to developing has been a (fortunate) development • Challenge now is meeting explicit needs of – Developing countries – Smallholder / resource poor farmers – Crop / traits
  20. 20. Program for Biosafety Systems – R&D and innovation for and by developing countries • Crops and traits of interest/value have been produced • Capacity to develop GM crops and other biotechnologies – Advanced => China, Brazil, Mexico, India, Argentina – Medium- Advanced => Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia • Next Harvest documented 270 technologies in 16 developing countries Why aren’t these technologies in the hands of famers?
  21. 21. Program for Biosafety Systems – Why GM biotech? • Embodied technologies • Address specific productivity constraints not easily addressed by conventional means • Can be deployed in low resource use production systems • Flexible – fit with other production systems – GM and Integrated Pest Management – GM and organic production methods (!!!) • Impacts can be non-pecuniary, indirect, and scale neutral • Scalable
  22. 22. Program for Biosafety Systems – 3. Biotechnology as a regulated R&D activity
  23. 23. Program for Biosafety Systems – Biosafety as a process… Contained Use Experiments Confined Field Trials Deliberate Release Post Release Deregulation Regulatory decision points Familiarity Learning
  24. 24. Program for Biosafety Systems – R&D and product development life cycle 1 – 3 yrs. 1 – 3 yrs. 1 – 3 yrs. Product Concept Discovery Early Product Testing & Development Integration & Product Selection Product Ramp Up Market Introduction 1 2 3 4 5 6 Confined Field Trials Author: Ramaeker-Zahn
  25. 25. Program for Biosafety Systems – Regulatory processes, decision making and assessments Environmental and Food/Feed Safety Assessment Socio- Economic Assessments (plus others?) Decision Making
  26. 26. Program for Biosafety Systems – Impacts on biodiversity • Which biodiversity? Agricultural vs. Wild • Agricultural biodiversity – intraspecific vs interspecific • Tradeoffs between land use and the maintenance of the agricultural frontier and encroachment in protected and/or “wild” areas • Biodiversity valuation issues and measuring taxonomic diversity and richness • Ecosystem services
  27. 27. Program for Biosafety Systems – Environmental biosafety assessments: A Roadmap under review at the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety • Impacts on non- target organisms • Gene flow • Impacts on sexually compatible species – Increase in weed behaviour – Competitive advantage/fitness
  28. 28. Program for Biosafety Systems – Example from seed adoption sector “Farmer preferences for Milpa diversity and genetically modified maize in Mexico” (Birol, Villalobos and Smale 2007) • “Milpa” is crop production system in Mexico and C. America – Private economic value: food security, diet quality and livelihoods – Public economic value: conserving agrobiodiversity, especially that of maize landraces (potential to contribute unique traits for future plant breeding efforts • Subject to multiple externalities which have a negative impact • Farmer heterogeneity is an issue identified by the study – (i) Landrace Conservationists – (ii) Milpa Diversity Managers – iii) Marginalized Maize Producers • Contrast results with the 2004 Commission for Environmental Cooperation report
  29. 29. Program for Biosafety Systems – Food/Feed Safety Assessments • CODEX Alimentarius guidelines (CAC/GL 46-2003) • Procedure roadmap A) Description of the recombinant-DNA microorganism; B) Description of the recipient microorganism and its use in food production; C) Description of the donor organism(s); D) Description of the genetic modification(s) including vector and construct; E) Characterization of the genetic modification(s); F) Safety assessment: – expressed substances: assessment of potential toxicity and other traits related to pathogenicity; – compositional analyses of key components; evaluation of metabolites, effects of food processing – assessment of immunological effects, assessment of viability and residence of microorganisms in the human gastrointestinal tract, antibiotic resistance and gene transfer; and nutritional modification.
  30. 30. Program for Biosafety Systems – What is socio-economic impact assessment? • Different levels – Household, Farm, Communities, Industry, Consumer, Trade • May be done before or after adoption of the technology (ex ante or ex post) • Compare effects of intervention against a counterfactual – Economics => monetary costs and benefits – Sociology /Anthropology => impact on people
  31. 31. Program for Biosafety Systems – 4. What do we know about the socio- economic impact of GE technologies?
  32. 32. Program for Biosafety Systems – What do we know from the economic impact assessment literature to date? • A review of 187 peer reviewed studies • Examined studies with a focus on: – Farmers, household and community – Industry and markets – Consumers – Trade Citation: Smale, Melinda; Zambrano, Patricia; Gruère, Guillaume; Falck-Zepeda, José; Matuschke, Ira; Horna, Daniela; Nagarajan, Latha; Yerramareddy, Indira; Jones, Hannah. 2009. Measuring the economic impacts of transgenic crops in developing agriculture during the first decade: Approaches, findings, and future directions. (Food policy review 10) Washington, D.C.: International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) 107 pages
  33. 33. Program for Biosafety Systems – Food Policy Review 10 conclusions • On average LMO crops have a higher economic performance — but averages do not reflect the variability by agro-climate, host cultivar, trait, farmer • Too few traits, too few cases/authors— generalizations should not be drawn yet...need more time to describe adoption These conclusions are no different than those for most technologies released to date…
  34. 34. Program for Biosafety Systems – Food Policy Review 10 conclusions • Address cross cutting issues for further study including impacts of poverty, gender, public health, generational • Develop improved methods and multi- disciplinary collaborations to examine broader issues
  35. 35. Program for Biosafety Systems – A meta-analysis paper by Areal, Riesgo and Rodriguez-Cerezo (2012) “GM crops perform better than their conventional counterparts in agronomic and economic (gross margin) terms” “GM crops tend to perform better in developing countries than in developed countries, with Bt cotton being the most profitable crop grown”
  36. 36. Program for Biosafety Systems – How does a producer benefit? Insect resistance traits The case of Bt cotton Producer Profit Producer Surplus Cost to Benefit Additional Cost of Using the Technology Tech fee: US$80/ha 0 + - Decrease pesticide application cost -Insecticide -Machinery & Equipment Yield / Reduction in damage -Timing applications -Reduced damage bolls Price change due to increase in supply Additional cost of controlling secondary pests Amenable to IPM and/or controlled easily Labor Labor
  37. 37. Program for Biosafety Systems – Black Sigatoka Resistant Bananas in Uganda  Consider irreversible and reversible cost and benefits by using the Real Option model  One year delay, forego potential annual (social) benefits of +/- US$200 million  A GM banana with tangible benefits to consumers increases their acceptance for 58% of the population Photos credits: Kikulwe 2009 and Edmeades 2008 Kikulwe, E.M., E. Birol, J. Wesseler, J. Falck-Zepeda. A latent class approach to investigating demand for genetically modified banana in Uganda Agricultural Economics 2011.
  38. 38. Program for Biosafety Systems – Bt cotton in Uganda  Positive yield impacts and net benefits  Smaller rate of return probably explained due to low base yields  Need to improve overall cotton productivity  Probability of a negative return can be as high as 38% with a technology fee as charged elsewhere Photos credit: © Horna 2009 Horna, et al. (2013) . “Economic Considerations in the Approval Process of GM Cotton in Uganda: Designing an Ex-ante Assessment to Support Decision-making. “IFPRI Monograph.
  39. 39. Program for Biosafety Systems – Bt maize in the Philippines • Growing Bt maize significantly increases profits and yields • Significant insecticide use reductions • Adopters tend to be – Cultivate larger areas – Use hired labor – More educated – have more positive perceptions of current and future status Change in economic surplus (mill pesos) Producer Surplus 7906 Seed Innovator 703 Total Surplus 8609 Producer Share (%) 92 Innovator Share (%) 8 Bt maize studies in Philippines led by Dr. Jose Yorobe Jr. with 466 farmers in 16 villages Isabela Province, Luzon, South Cotabato Province, Mindanao
  40. 40. Program for Biosafety Systems – Bt cotton in Colombia  Evidence of yield enhancement rather than pesticide reductions  Bt farmers benefited where the target pest is economically important  Sampling bias important: adopters were better–off farmers  Institutional context critical Photos credit: © Zambrano 2009 Source: Zambrano, P., L. A. Fonseca, I. Cardona, and E. Magalhaes. 2009. The socio-economic impact of transgenic cotton in Colombia. In Biotechnology and agricultural development: Transgenic cotton, rural institutions and resource-poor farmers, ed. R. Tripp. Routledge Explorations in Environmental Economics 19. London: Routledge. Chapter 8. Pp. 168-199
  41. 41. Program for Biosafety Systems – Bt maize in Honduras  Excellent target pest control  Bt yield advantage 893-1136 Kg ha-1 yield (24-33%)  Bt maize yields preferred even by risk averse producers  100% higher seed cost than conventional hybrid  Institutional issues important Photos credit: © Sanders and Trabanino 2008 “Small “Resource-Poor” Countries Taking Advantage of the New Bioeconomy and Innovation: The Case of Insect Protected/Herbicide Tolerant Maize in Honduras.” Jose Falck Zepeda, Arie Sanders, Rogelio Trabanino, Oswaldo Medina and Rolando Batallas-Huacon. Paper presented at the 13th ICABR Conference “The Emerging Bio-Economy”, Ravello, Italy June 17-20, 2009.
  42. 42. Program for Biosafety Systems – Concluding comments • Biotechnology and Genetically Modified Crops are still only technologies • Similarities and differences with other technologies • Actual and potential benefits from GM technology adoption…important tool to consider. Cannot disregard • Developments in the public sector in developing countries • Additional crops/traits of interest whose limitations can probably be only addressed through biotechnology means, will be available if we manage to resolve institutional and regulatory issues.
  43. 43. José Benjamin Falck-Zepeda, Ph.D. Senior Research Fellow / Leader Policy Team Program for Biosafety Systems IFPRI 2033 K Street NW Washington, DC 20006-1002 USA Brief bio/pubs: Blog: Follow me on Twitter: @josefalck