Nicholas Kalaitzandonakes
University of Missouri

The importance of agrobiotechnology for the less developed countries (LDCs) has been debated for almost two decades. Food security has been a focal issue. However, discussions have been far more expansive and complex. With technological capacity being a centerpiece in development theories, agrobiotechnology has generally been discussed against the broader context of economic growth, social justice, and environmental sustainability.

In this special issue of AgBioForum, experts and decision-makers from around the globe address some key questions on the relevance of agrobiotechnology for LDCs. Specifically, the following questions are addressed:

  • Can LDCs benefit from agrobiotechnology? That is, do benefits outweigh risks to justify implementation?
  • If LDCs can indeed benefit from agrobiotechnology, what are the likely pathways of implementation (e.g., develop indigenous technological capability, transfer technology, trade for products)?
  • If implementation is justified, what kinds of institutional adjustments are necessary to maximize benefits and minimize risks?

Answers to these and similar questions advance our understanding on the potential contributions of agrobiotechnology towards economic, environmental, and social sustainability, with improved social welfare in LDCs.