Plant Cell Reports

, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 249–265 | Cite as

The potential impact of plant biotechnology on the Millennium Development Goals

  • Dawei Yuan
  • Ludovic Bassie
  • Maite Sabalza
  • Bruna Miralpeix
  • Svetlana Dashevskaya
  • Gemma Farre
  • Sol M. Rivera
  • Raviraj Banakar
  • Chao Bai
  • Georgina Sanahuja
  • Gemma Arjó
  • Eva Avilla
  • Uxue Zorrilla-López
  • Nerea Ugidos-Damboriena
  • Alberto López
  • David Almacellas
  • Changfu Zhu
  • Teresa Capell
  • Gunther Hahne
  • Richard M. Twyman
  • Paul Christou
Opinion Paper

Abstract

The eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are international development targets for the year 2015 that aim to achieve relative improvements in the standards of health, socioeconomic status and education in the world’s poorest countries. Many of the challenges addressed by the MDGs reflect the direct or indirect consequences of subsistence agriculture in the developing world, and hence, plant biotechnology has an important role to play in helping to achieve MDG targets. In this opinion article, we discuss each of the MDGs in turn, provide examples to show how plant biotechnology may be able to accelerate progress towards the stated MDG objectives, and offer our opinion on the likelihood of such technology being implemented. In combination with other strategies, plant biotechnology can make a contribution towards sustainable development in the future although the extent to which progress can be made in today’s political climate depends on how we deal with current barriers to adoption.

Keywords

Plant biotechnology Millennium Development Goals Poverty Hunger Malnutrition HIV/AIDS Agriculture Developing countries 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dawei Yuan
    • 1
  • Ludovic Bassie
    • 1
  • Maite Sabalza
    • 1
  • Bruna Miralpeix
    • 1
  • Svetlana Dashevskaya
    • 1
  • Gemma Farre
    • 1
  • Sol M. Rivera
    • 2
  • Raviraj Banakar
    • 1
  • Chao Bai
    • 1
  • Georgina Sanahuja
    • 1
  • Gemma Arjó
    • 1
    • 3
  • Eva Avilla
    • 1
  • Uxue Zorrilla-López
    • 1
  • Nerea Ugidos-Damboriena
    • 1
  • Alberto López
    • 1
  • David Almacellas
    • 1
  • Changfu Zhu
    • 1
  • Teresa Capell
    • 1
  • Gunther Hahne
    • 4
  • Richard M. Twyman
    • 5
  • Paul Christou
    • 1
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Plant Production and Forestry Science, ETSEAUniversity of LleidaLleidaSpain
  2. 2.Chemistry Department, ETSEAUniversity of LleidaLleidaSpain
  3. 3.Department of MedicineUniversity of LleidaLleidaSpain
  4. 4.Département Soutien FormationIRDMarseille Cedex 02France
  5. 5.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of WarwickCoventryUK
  6. 6.Institució Catalana de Reserca i Estudis Avançats, Passeig Lluís Companys 23BarcelonaSpain

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