Using Translational Research to Enhance Farmers’ Voice: A Case Study of the Potential Introduction of GM Cassava in Kenya's Coast

20 Pages Posted: 23 Aug 2014

See all articles by Corinne Valdivia

Corinne Valdivia

University of Missouri at Columbia - College of Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources

M. Danda

Industrial Crops Research Institute, KARLO-Mtwapa

Dekha Sheikh

Independent

Harvey S. James, Jr.

University of Missouri at Columbia - Division of Applied Social Sciences

Violet Gathaara

Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) - Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization

Grace Mbure

Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI)

Festus Murithi

Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI)

William Folk

University of Missouri at Columbia - College of Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources

Date Written: June 1, 2014

Abstract

Genetically modified 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 genetically modified 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.

Keywords: translational research, participatory process, uncertainty, innovation, GM, Cassava

JEL Classification: Q16, O33, O55

Suggested Citation

Valdivia, Corinne and Danda, M. and Sheikh, Dekha and James, Harvey S. and Gathaara, Violet and Mbure, Grace and Murithi, Festus and Folk, William, Using Translational Research to Enhance Farmers’ Voice: A Case Study of the Potential Introduction of GM Cassava in Kenya's Coast (June 1, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2484857 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2484857

Corinne Valdivia

University of Missouri at Columbia - College of Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources ( email )

United States

M. Danda

Industrial Crops Research Institute, KARLO-Mtwapa ( email )

P. O. Box 16
Mtwapa, 80109
Kenya

Dekha Sheikh

Independent ( email )

Harvey S. James (Contact Author)

University of Missouri at Columbia - Division of Applied Social Sciences ( email )

Columbia, MO
United States
573-884-9682 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://hsjames2.wordpress.com

Violet Gathaara

Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) - Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization ( email )

NAIROBI
Kenya

Grace Mbure

Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) ( email )

Makindu
Kenya

Festus Murithi

Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) ( email )

Makindu
Kenya

William Folk

University of Missouri at Columbia - College of Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources ( email )

United States

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