Institutional Issues in Biotechnology Applications: Concepts and Empirical Evidence from Kenya
This paper discusses various institutional issues that should be considered to successfully apply agricultural biotechnology to smallholder agriculture. Participatory approaches — from the first phase of problem definition to the final phase of technology adoption — are prerequisites for optimizing biotechnology’s benefits for the poor. A case study dealing with tissue culture bananas in Kenya is discussed in greater detail. It exemplifies the value of effective partnerships between various public and private sector institutions, including community-based groups, that build on comparative advantages. Banana growers were involved at an early stage of project conceptualization to better understand their needs and constraints. In this way, they developed “ownership” of the technology early on and did not feel that the technology was being imposed on them. Preliminary evaluations show that resource-poor farmers could reap the largest benefits of tissue culture bananas.
KeywordsTechnology Adoption Smallholder Agriculture Agricultural Biotechnology Biotechnology Application Institutional Issue
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