Farmers’-Eye View of GM Crops

Genetically modified crops are a divisive issue and have been met with uneven uptake within Africa and across the globe, according to Matthew Schnurr, a fellow at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study.

Proponents say GM crops are technologically inevitable and improve yields and livelihoods across Africa; opponents are concerned about health and environmental impacts, and multinational corporations’ growing influence. But both sides “oversimplify their arguments,” and the issue isn’t black and white, Schnurr writes. GM crops’ viability should be considered on a case-by-case basis. Disconnects between donor and farmer priorities can spell failure for projects that aren’t designed around Africa’s dominant context of smallholder farms.

Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study

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