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Perception of agricultural biotechnology among farmers, journalists and scientists in Tanzania

Philbert S. Nyinondi, Frankwell W. Dulle, Julita Nawe

Abstract


This study sought to establish the perception of farmers, journalists and scientists of genetically-modified (GM) crops in Tanzania. Its specific objectives were to determine the perception of GM Crops among farmers, journalists and scientists in Tanzania, and to determine the factors that influence their perception. A cross-sectional survey was designed to generate both qualitative and quantitative data. The questionnaire, and focus group discussion and observation guides were deployed to collect requisite data from 265 respondents. This study found that Tanzania has infrastructure, researchers (inadequate but the number is growing), policies, legislations and guidelines for developing and deploying GM crops. The results further show that overall 70.5 percent of the sampled farmers, journalists and scientists had positive perception of GM crops whereas 23.8 percent had a neutral perception and 5.7 percent had a negative perception. Individual perceptions of GM crops in Tanzania is influenced by a combination of multiple factors, namely age, gender, educational level, marital status, religion, occupation and basic knowledge in science and technology. It is recommended that agricultural stakeholders should strive to have in place policies and legislations, which are supported by scientific evidence and which in turn support science advancement.

Key Words: Agricultural Innovation; Bio-safety; GM Crops; GM Technology; Tanzania




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