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“Attitudes, Perceptions, and Trust: Insights from a Consumer Survey Regarding Genetically Modified Banana in
Uganda”

Summary
In this paper we analyze a producer-consumer survey of 421 households in Uganda who consume bananas in the country. An explanatory factor analysis help identify factors used in a consumer cluster analysis that grouped consumers into segments. Factors included GM skepticism, trust in government, health safety issues, food and environmental concerns. Consumer socio-demographic characteristics influence choice and willingness to purchase GM bananas. Issues such as institutional awareness and trust varied across segments significantly. This will have implications in terms of ensuring proper dicussions during the biosafety regulatory approval process and for public sector developers currently developing the GM bananas in addressing potential public concerns over the technology.

My comments

GM bananas have not been commercialized in Uganda. A event addressing resistance to black sigatoka disease developed by University of Leuven Belgium, the Agricultural Biotechnology Support Program II (ABSPII) and the National Agricultural Research Organization of Uganda (NARO) has undergone confined field trials. These and other organizations are developing GM banana varieties resistant to banana blight disease (Fusarium blight or Panama disease) as there is no cure for this and this could devastate completely bananas around the world especially those of the Cavendish variety, which are the ones cultivated commercially in Latin America and the Caribbean and elsewhere.This is food security crop for Uganda and other countries, and thus of importance for farmers livelihoods in poor countries.

Reference

Kikulwe, E. M., Wesseler, J., & Falck-Zepeda, J., Attitudes, Perceptions, and Trust: Insights from a Consumer Survey Regarding Genetically Modified Banana in Uganda, Appetite (2010),doi:10.1016/j.appet.2011.06.001

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