Farmers’ Attitudes to GM Crops

Issue Date:
Aug 08 2002
Publication Type:
Conference Paper/ Presentation
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Farmers will generally support and patronize technologies, including those that utilise genetic modification, to the extent that these reduce their costs of production, improve yields, enhance the quality and acceptability of their products, and increase their incomes and overall economic welfare. Farmers would, however, have special concerns and apprehensions regarding long-term access to GM seeds and other modern technologies of their choice, especially if proprietary rights over such technologies are controlled by and/or concentrated in a few large companies. GM technology may also turn out to be too expensive or complicated for small resource-poor farmers to use, or may not yield expected results due to the lack of support facilities and structures in the environments of under-developed countries. In turn, excitement over GM crops may divert attention and support away from traditional or local varieties and technologies with which farmers are already comfortable and to which they have become inured. Although farmers in developing countries will normally be more concerned with the immediate gains from GM technology, sustainability and other longer-range concerns rightfully have to be given equal consideration. Farmers will be the ultimate victims if the environment is damaged by the haphazard use of GM technology. Consumers will stop buying their products if food safety concerns are not properly addressed. Given their perceptions, fears and concerns regarding GM technology, farmers must be given the support and leeway necessary to survive and prosper if they are to continue providing food for an increasingly crowded planet.

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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