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Genetically modified maize impacts in Honduras: production and social issues

Abstract

Maize production is one of the most important activities for the Honduran economy, both in terms of area cultivated and food security provided. This article reports the results of a survey undertaken to gauge knowledge, perceptions, opinions, and attitudes of Honduran farmers towards genetically modified (GM) maize. Data were collected from 32 maize producers in 2018–19, of both conventional and GM, in five different departments (regions) of Honduras. Results show that over 75% of interviewed farmers have significant knowledge of basic biotechnology concepts and GM maize. Overall, producers have a positive opinion about GM maize because yields are higher than conventional maize, and adopting farmers have higher incomes. A significant finding was the reduction in the number of necessary pesticide applications, 84% of interviewees who used GM maize did not apply any pesticides. Farmers indicate the two main reasons for using GM maize are higher incomes (48%) and ease of use of the crop (33%). Overall, GM maize impacts in Honduras could be greater if the federal government took on a more proactive role in knowledge dissemination and facilitation of credit access.

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Fig. 1

Source: FAOSTAT (2020)

Notes

  1. 1.

    ‘Department’ is the name of sub-national divisions within Honduras. These are known as states or provinces in other countries.

  2. 2.

    Interviews were conducted in Spanish. Questions and answers have been translated to be as accurate to the Spanish questions and answers as possible.

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Correspondence to Diego Maximiliano Macall.

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Macall, D.M., Trabanino, C.R., Soto, A.H. et al. Genetically modified maize impacts in Honduras: production and social issues. Transgenic Res 29, 575–586 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11248-020-00221-y

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Keywords

  • Adoption benefits
  • Chemical use
  • Economic impacts
  • Farm-level evidence
  • Yield increases