Policy Responses to Agricultural Biotechnology and Their Impact on African Development
NEW APPROACHES TO PLANT BREEDING OF ORPHAN CROPS IN AFRICA: PROCEEDINGS OF AN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE, pp. 223-242, Zerihun Tadele, ed., Waitro, 2009
20 Pages Posted: 26 Oct 2009
Date Written: October 26, 2009
Many European states and retailers continue to be unimpressed by the growing body of experimental and empirical evidence about the positive environmental, health and economic impact of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) worldwide. They stick to their bans on GMOs and encourage many African countries to do so too. This European pressure on African countries is not just exerted through aid and trade policy but also by generally cutting funding for the genetic improvement of orphan crop research. The justification for these decisions is that the perception of agricultural biotechnology in Africa would be negative and therefore GM crops should not be introduced in African countries. A perception survey conducted in South Africa indicates however, that stakeholder perceptions in the national debates in African countries may be shaped by the interests and attitudes of foreign, rather than domestic stakeholders. South Africa is nevertheless an exception. In spite of well-organized opposition groups, the country grows GMOs for almost a decade and its positive experience may eventually induce other African countries think twice whether they want to say no to this new technology.
Keywords: GMOs, Retailers, South Africa, stakeholder perception survey, environmental politics
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