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Abstract

So far few African countries have accepted genetically modified (GM) crops, despite their high potential for increasing food production. The opinion of African consumers is missing in the debate, especially in rural areas, so a survey was conducted among rural consumers in the major maize growing areas of Kenya to gauge their acceptance of GM food. A third of respondents were aware of GM crops, mainly from the radio in rural areas. Most respondents would buy GM maize meal at the same price as conventional maize, and even pay a premium. The rural population of Kenya lacks access to the relevant information to make informed decision and contribute to the debate on the use of GM crops in Africa. A concerted, public policy effort is therefore needed, where the wider use of radio to reach the rural population should be explored. Provided with balanced information, rural consumers show a high degree of acceptability of GM maize.

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