Table of Contents

Handbook on Agriculture, Biotechnology and Development

Handbook on Agriculture, Biotechnology and Development

Elgar original reference

Edited by Stuart J. Smyth, Peter W.B. Phillips and David Castle

This book is a compendium of knowledge, experience and insight on agriculture, biotechnology and development. Beginning with an account of GM crop adoptions and attitudes towards them, the book assesses numerous crucial processes, concluding with detailed insights into GM products. Drawing on expert perspectives of leading authors from 57 different institutions in 16 countries, it provides a unique, global overview of agbiotech following 20 years of adoption. Many consider GM crops the most rapid agricultural innovation adopted in the history of agriculture. This book provides insights as to why the adoption has occurred globally at such a rapid rate.

Chapter 40: The Hawaii papaya story

Carol V. Gonsalves and Dennis Gonsalves

Subjects: development studies, agricultural economics, development studies, economics and finance, agricultural economics, environment, agricultural economics, biotechnology, environmental sociology, innovation and technology, biotechnology


We are currently immersed in the new age of agricultural biotechnology, having consumed trillions of servings of food developed with the aid of molecular technologies unheard of less than half a century ago. This astronomical number was highlighted by Miller (2011), who reported that in the area of North America alone, over three trillion servings of food containing genetically modified (GM) ingredients have been consumed. Billions of dollars and countless hours have been spent in research and development of new and improved agricultural products. Hundreds of millions of acres of genetically modified agronomic food crops such as canola, corn and soybean are being grown and sold in the market place. Horticultural food crops lag behind in acreage, with only papaya, sweet corn and squash available to consumers, while other beneficial products, many of which have already been developed and tested, have yet to be commercialized (Clark et al., 2004). Searching for a clear understanding of how a genetically modified product can make it to market can be a perplexing journey as we navigate through uncharted territory in the cosmos of a biotech universe. In this chapter we aim to present a clear picture of the process of agricultural biotechnology that was used to transform papayas from those that could not survive an attack by papaya ringspot virus (PRSV) to those that thrive due to engineered resistance to that virus.

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