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The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) has found that
research to develop genetically modified (GM) crops are in various stages of
commercialisation in 15 developing countries in three continents, January
There are different stages in GM research like experimental, confined
field trials, pre-commercial trials and commercial release. The researches
are taking place mostly in the public domain.
The study released recently in Washington was a joint effort of partners
from these 15 countries and IFPRI to analyse the current state of research,
regulation, genetic resources and institutional roles in developing GM
It is mainly in 10 crops that the largest number of genetic transformation
efforts are taking place. They are rice, potatoes, maize, papayas, tomatoes,
cotton, soyabeans, wheat, alfalfa and sugarcane. The greatest number of GM
modification trials are for rice, potatoes, maize and papaya.
Some countries are working on five or fewer crops, whereas others like China
(30 crops) India (21), South Africa (20) are working on more.
In Asia, India, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines and
Thailand are having GM crop programmes. Indian agriculture institutions in
the public and private sectors are conducting research on crops like rice,
cabbage, cauliflower, chickpeas, citrus, eggplant, mung beans, muskmelon,
mustard/rapeseed, potaotes and tomatoes.
In Africa, Egypt, Kenya, South Africa and Zimbabwe are the countries with GM
research efforts. The lead GM countries in Latin America are Argentina,
Brazil, Costa Rica and Mexico. The largest number of trnsformation events
were generated by the seven Asian countries (109) followed by the four
African countries (54) and the four Latin American countries (38).
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