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Nanotechnology, Food, Agriculture and Development


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Guillaume Gruere, Environment and Production Technology Division, IFPRI
18th June 2008, International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington D.C.

Published in: Technology, Business
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Nanotechnology, Food, Agriculture and Development

  1. 1. Nanotechnology, Food, Agriculture and Development a few comments Guillaume GRUERE Environment and Production Technology Division IFPRI
  2. 2. Nanoscale sciences: an evolving set of technologies  Many products on the market, but many more yet to come  Large R& D investments in a number of developing countries  Some applications in agriculture: • Productivity/input side improvements: precision? • Quality of agricultural products (safety…) • Enhanced properties of derived products  Many others in environmental cleaning
  3. 3. Issues arising with nanotech in agriculture  Economic risk: Complement or substitute for commodity based products? • Nanotextile versus cotton • Nano rubber versus natural rubber  Potential risks of nanoparticle/nanotubes • What regulations in developing countries?  IPR issues with the use of broad patents  Ethical issues: synthetic biology
  4. 4. Three policy directions 1. More information exchange is needed between scientists and policy specialists 2. It is still time to direct public research toward high impact technologies for agricultural development 3. Risk management and regulations: lessons learned from biotech?