Innovation dynamics and agricultural biotechnology in Kenya

HS Odame

Research output: Types of ThesisDoctoral ThesisInternal

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Modern agricultural biotechnology is being flaunted in global policy de-bates as a powerful technology for improving agricultural productivity and food security in Africa. These debates often conveniently lump to-gether the controversial GMOs and the less contentious traditional bio-technology, also known as ‘non-transgenic biotechnology’. The contro-versial debate on GMOs encompasses the influence of biotechnology companies, governmental regulators, non-governmental organizations, scientists and consumers. The contentious issues on GM food and crops include labelling, health and environment, pesticide resistance; impacts of GM crops on farmers, feeding the world population; and the role of government in all these issues. The overall policy debate is whether and how GMOs can contribute to sustainable agricultural productivity and new inputs for African smallholder farmers. Most African governments are cautious of modern biotechnology and especially about GMOs because the role of this technology in Afri-can agriculture is not well understood. Today, there are few transgenic crops that have been developed and successfully introduced to African smallholder farmers. This situation raises the question: Can agricultural biotechnology be harnessed to improve sustainable agricultural produc-tivity and food security of smallholder farmers in Kenya? This study employed the Agricultural Innovation Systems (AIS) framework as a potentially useful tool for identifying and analysing strengths and weaknesses in harnessing biotechnology for smallholder farmers. This analysis helps understand how the NARS has evolved and to examine whether biotechnology will be useful to the people or not. Empirical research was conducted within selected NARS at the na-tional level, and among the target smallholder farmers in Busia and Nyeri Counties.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • White, Ben, Supervisor
Award date17 Sept 2014
Place of PublicationRotterdam
Print ISBNs9789491478246
Publication statusPublished - 17 Sept 2014

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