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University of South Africa (2020)

An analysis of perceptions amongst farmers on the adoption of GM technology in Paarl, Western Cape - South Africa

Owusu, Festus

Titre : An analysis of perceptions amongst farmers on the adoption of GM technology in Paarl, Western Cape - South Africa

Auteur : Owusu, Festus

Université de soutenance : University of South Africa

Grade : M.A. (Development Studies) 2020

Résumé
In early 2003, a persistent drought threatened about 15 million people in the Southern African region (SADC) with starvation as farmers in this region were not able to produce enough food. A similar threat was experienced in the United States of America (USA). The Americans responded by introducing GM technology, which thankfully stabilised corn production and food security. It was against this backdrop that the South African government legalised and supported GM technology in the farming industry. However, the technology became a contentious issue amongst scholars, politicians and policy makers as well as farmers. Therefore, this study analysed the perceptions of small-scale and large-scale farmers, located in Paarl, Western Cape, South Africa, on the adoption of GM technology. This qualitative study, using a case study design, collected primary data from thirty (30) farmers : fifteen (15) small-scale and fifteen (15) large-scale farmers. The findings revealed complex factors influencing farmers’ adoption decisions and that Adopter perception (AP) and Consumer perception (CP) play a key role in their adoption of GM technology. These commercially and profit-driven farmers avoid using GM technology because public opinion and the markets weigh heavily against it. It was concluded that the farmers regarded GM technology as just one of many agricultural technologies and not as an exception. It was also considered unaffordable and detrimental to the environment, the economy and their livelihoods.The study recommends that the government should fully investigate public perceptions with regard to the adoption of any new agricultural innovation prior to making policy decisions.

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Page publiée le 25 janvier 2023