Stakeholders’ perceptions of GM technology in West Africa: Assessing the responses of policymakers and scientists in Ghana and Nigeria

  • Adenle A
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Abstract

The perception of two key stakeholders such as policymakers and scientists on genetic modification (GM) technology was examined in Ghana and Nigeria using semi-structured interviews. A total sample of 20 policymakers (16 at ministries and 4 at parliament/cabinet) and 58 scientists (43 at research institutes and 15 at universities) participated at the interviews. This study revealed respondents perspectives on potential benefits and risks of GM technology, status and development of biosafety regulatory frameworks, role of science and technology innovation in agricultural development, intellectual property right and related issues. The study also shed some light on a possible influence of the European Union and United States in the development and potential adoption of GM technology. More importantly, the article suggests that most respondents including policymakers believe that GM technology has great potential to solve part of agricultural problems in both countries. But, lack of appropriate regulatory framework, lack of trained personnel, weak institutions and poor equipped laboratory among others represent a significant challenge in introducing GM technology in this part of Africa.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Food security
  • GM scientists
  • GM technology
  • Ghana
  • Nigeria
  • Policymakers

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