Biotechnologies at Work for Smallholders: Case Studies from Developing Countries in Crops, Livestock and Fish

Biotechnologies at Work for Smallholders:
Case Studies from Developing Countries in Crops, Livestock and Fish

Edited by
J. Ruane, J.D. Dargie, C. Mba, P. Boettcher, H.P.S. Makkar, D.M. Bartley and A. Sonnino

Download Full Report in Low Resolution  -4Mb
Download Full Report in High Resolution  -7Mb


Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations


This book documents a unique series of 19 case studies where agricultural biotechnologies were used to serve the needs of smallholders in developing countries. They cover different regions, production systems, species and underlying socio-economic conditions in the crop (seven case studies), livestock (seven) and aquaculture/fisheries (five) sectors. Most of the case studies involve a single crop, livestock or fish species and a single biotechnology. The biotechnologies covered include some that are considered quite traditional, such as fermentation and artificial insemination, as well as other more modern ones, such as the use of DNA-based approaches to detect pathogens. Prepared by scientists and researchers who were directly involved in the initiatives, the authors were able to provide an insider’s guide to the background, achievements, obstacles, challenges and lessons learned from each case study. The final chapter of the book summarizes the background, challenges, results and lessons learned from the 19 case studies.

Table of Contents

Abbreviations and Acronyms


Chapter 1: Introduction
J.D. Dargie


Chapter 2: Case Studies in the Crop Sector
2.1 Use of Tissue Culture and Mutation Induction to Improve Banana Production for Smallholders in Sri Lanka
P.J.L. Lagoda

2.2 Successful Marker-Assisted Selection for Disease Resistance and Drought Tolerance in Pearl Millet in India
R. Yadav, C.T. Hash, C. Howarth, J.R. Witcombe and I.S. Khairwal

2.3 Clean Planting Materials Produced in Vitro to Improve Performance of Sweet Potato, Plantain and Bananas in Ghana
M.D. Quain and B.M. Dzomeku

2.4 Molecular Markers and Tissue Culture: Technologies Transcending Continental Barriers to Add Value and Improve Productivity of Cassava in Africa
E. Okogbenin, C. Egesi and M. Fregene

2.5 Somatic Embryogenesis for the Production of Plantain Planting Materials in Cuba
J. LĂłpez, N. Montano, D. Reinaldo, A. Rayas, V. Medero, A. Santos, D. RodrĂ­guez, M. Basail, Y. Beovidez, A. Cantero and D. Montano

2.6 Use of Tissue Culture in Cassava for Rural Households in Colombia
R.H. Escobar, J. Restrepo, J. Tohme and W.M. Roca

2.7 Transforming Rice Production in Flood-Affected Areas: Development of the Swarna-Sub1 Variety Using Marker-Assisted Backcrossing and its Deployment in India
U.S. Singh, M.H. Dar, S. Singh and A.M. Ismail


Chapter 3: Case Studies in the Livestock Sector
3.1 Sustainable Improvement in Sheep Productivity in India Using the FecB (Booroola) Mutation
C. Nimbkar

3.2 Saving the Endangered Namaqua Afrikaner Sheep Breed in South Africa through Conservation and Utilization
E. van Marle-Koster, C. Visser, S.O. Qwabe and M.A. Snyman

3.3 Application of Artificial Insemination with Frozen Semen in an Angora Goat Breeding Project in Northern Patagonia, Argentina
A. Gibbons, J. Arrigo, H. Taddeo, M. Abad and M. Cueto

3.4 Use of Artificial Insemination in a Community-Based Approach to Deliver Cattle Production-Related Veterinary Services in Four Dairy-Producing Areas of Bangladesh
M.M.U. Bhuiyan, M.T. Islam and M. Shamsuddin

3.5 Intensive and Integrated Farm Systems using Fermentation of Swine Effluent in Brazil
I. Bergier, E. Soriano, G. Wiedman and A. Kososki

3.6 Taking the Laboratory to the Field: Rapid Diagnosis of Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR) in Cameroon
A. Wade and A. Souley

3.7 Application of the Sterile Insect Technique in Zanzibar to Eradicate Tsetse Flies, the Vectors of Trypanosomosis
U. Feldmann, F. Mramba, A.G. Parker, K.M. Saleh, V.A. Dyck and M.J.B. Vreysen


Chapter 4: Case Studies in the Fishery Sector
4.1 Application of Probiotics as an Environmental Treatment and Feed Additive in the Production of Farmed Marine Shrimp in China
Y. Xinhua

4.2 PCR-based Pathogen Detection in Shrimp Aquaculture in India
P.C. Thakur, A.P. Padiyar, A.K. Sahoo, G. SubbaRao and D. Ramraj

4.3 Interspecific Hybrid Catfish in Thailand
U. Na-Nakorn

4.4 Use of Within-Family Selection and Gynogenesis to Develop the Jian Carp (Cyprinus carpio var. jian) in China
Z. Dong

4.5 Small-Scale Fish Fermentation and Processing in West Africa
G.R. Akande


Chapter 5: Agricultural Biotechnology Case Studies: Challenges, Achievements and Lessons Learned
J.D. Dargie


The designations employed and the presentation of material in this information product do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) concerning the legal or development status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. The mention of specific companies or products of manufacturers, whether or not these have been patented, does not imply that these have been endorsed or recommended by FAO in preference to others of a similar nature that are not mentioned.

The views expressed in this information product are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of FAO.

ISBN 978-92-5-107877-8 (print)
E-ISBN 978-92-5-107878-5 (PDF)

FAO encourages the use, reproduction and dissemination of material in this information product. Except where otherwise indicated, material may be copied, downloaded and printed for private study, research and teaching purposes, or for use in non-commercial products or services, provided that appropriate acknowledgement of FAO as the source and copyright holder is given and that FAO’s endorsement of users’ views, products or services is not implied in any way.

All requests for translation and adaptation rights, and for resale and other commercial use rights should be made via

FAO information products are available on the FAO website ( and can be purchased through [email protected].