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Using translational research to enhance farmers’ voice: a case study of the potential introduction of GM cassava in Kenya’s coast

Listed author(s):
  • Corinne Valdivia


  • M. Danda


  • Dekha Sheikh


  • Harvey James


  • Violet Gathaara


  • Grace Mbure


  • Festus Murithi


  • William Folk


Genetically modified (GM) cassava is currently being developed to address problems of diseases that threaten the food security of farmers in developing countries. The technologies are aimed at smallholder farmers, in hopes of reducing the vulnerability of cassava production to these diseases. In this paper we examine barriers to farmers’ voice in the development of GM cassava. We also examine the role of a translational research process to enhance farmers’ voice, to understand the sources of vulnerability farmers in a group in Kenya’s Coast face, and to determine if their concerns are consistent with those of the scientists in agriculture addressing farmers’ needs. A two-way communication participatory process provided insights into the complex vulnerability context of farmers, their primary concerns with processing and markets of cassava in order to improve livelihoods, the lack of networks with two way communication flows, and the lack of information on GM technologies. The translational research engaged farmers and scientists in an iterative process where scientists are learning what farmers need, and farmers are learning about the potential benefits and risks from GM technologies, while at the same time expressing their concerns. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

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Article provided by Springer & The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS) in its journal Agriculture and Human Values.

Volume (Year): 31 (2014)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 673-681

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Handle: RePEc:spr:agrhuv:v:31:y:2014:i:4:p:673-681
DOI: 10.1007/s10460-014-9536-0
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  1. Hallie Eakin, 2000. "Smallholder Maize Production and Climatic Risk: A Case Study from Mexico," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 19-36, April.
  2. Corinne Valdivia & Jere Gilles, 2001. "Gender and resource management: Households and groups, strategies and transitions," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 18(1), pages 5-9, March.
  3. Kijima, Yoko & Otsuka, Keijiro & Sserunkuuma, Dick, 2011. "An Inquiry into Constraints on a Green Revolution in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Case of NERICA Rice in Uganda," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 77-86, January.
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