From Genetic Engineering to Gene Editing: Harnessing Advances in Biology for National Economic Development

  • Chandra Sekhara Rao Nuthalapati


This chapter has examined the nature and adoption of biotechnologies, socio-economic impacts, regulatory frameworks and concerns for rising farm incomes in a cross-country perspective. The product development in biotech has been moving from just insect/herbicide resistance to breaking yield barriers, drought tolerance and quality enhancing traits, just from 3 to 31 crops, a large share of acreage in developing countries and increasing penetration of public sector. The frontiers have been moving forward with the fundamental breakthrough in the form of CRISPR-Cas 9 technique with wide-ranging applications. A rigorous study of peer-reviewed literature shows that GE crop cultivation has increased yields and net income, reduced pesticide usage and helped conserve tillage. Biosafety laws have been stifling product development, and therefore harnessing biotechnologies necessitate enabling policies like a legal framework for biosafety, labelling and trans-boundary movement. Developing countries need to put in place regulations for the new plant breeding techniques on par with the conventional plant breeding techniques. The policy implications have been then drawn for utilization of opportunities in advancement of biotechnology for developing country agriculture.


Yield effect Selection bias Halo effect Employment Regulatory framework IPRs Drought tolerance Labelling Consolidation 

JEL Classification

J4 K19 L1 O3 Q10 Q16 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chandra Sekhara Rao Nuthalapati
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Economic GrowthUniversity of Delhi EnclaveNew DelhiIndia

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