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Understanding the Evolution of Rice Technology in China - From Traditional Agriculture to GM Rice Today

Shen, X

Journal of Development Studies   46 (6) 1026-1046

January 2010   (Version of record first published July 2010)

This paper provides an historical survey of the evolution of rice technology in China, from the traditional farming system to genetically modified rice today. Using sociotechnological analytical framework, it analyses rice technology as a socio-technical ensemble - a complex interaction of material and social elements, and discusses the specificity of technology development and its socio-technical outcomes. It points to two imperatives in rice variety development: wholesale transporting agricultural technology and social mechanism to developing countries are likely lead to negative consequences; indigenous innovation including deploying GM technology for seed varietal development and capturing/cultivating local knowledge will provide better solutions.