Local Sustainable Biotechnological Developments: Towards Reconstruction of Biotechnologies

Puente Rodriguez, D.


Advances in agrarian genomics are writing a new page in the history book of science and technology, this article analyses whether and how these advances could be also adding a new page to the work of making poverty history. More specifically, it focuses on the local specific development of biotechnologies and genomics as a catalyst for development within the agrarian systems of peasants. It takes up the challenge to research whether and how these technologies might be sustainably developed (both socially and technically) by multi-stakeholder networks formed mainly by peasants, peasants' groups, civil society organisations, and researchers in the so-called Third World. Empirical analysis have been conducted in the form of three case studies, comprising: (1) a territorial development of a Bt-biopesticide in Andhra Pradesh, India; (2) the development of molecular markers within contradictory cultural environments in small-scale potato crop systems of the Bolivian Andes; and (3) the local-global biotechnologisation of the biofuel plant Jatropha curcas in Yoro, Honduras. These developmental dynamics are captured within the term Local Sustainable Biotechnological Development, which can be defined as a type of development that is based on the reconstruction of biotechnologies mainly (though not exclusively) by and for local actors, and which strengthen peasant agrarian systems and which empowers peasants, civil society organisations and local researchers within biotechnological structures.