Agricultural Biotechnology in Africa

My core research area focuses on debates over the potential for Genetically Modified (GM) crops to improve yields and livelihoods in Sub-Saharan Africa.  Over the past fifteen years Africa has emerged as one of the most contentious sites for debates over the potential for GM crops to transform agricultural production for poor farmers. My research examines questions surrounding the promotion and regulation of these technologies in Uganda, the country with the largest experimental program dedicated to biotechnology in Africa. I am particularly interested in examining the suitability of GM technology for the proposed recipients of GM technology: smallholder, subsistence farmers.  I have recently initiated a project funded through the John Templeton Foundation that investigates farmer intentions to adopt Genetically Modified matooke banana, the primary carbohydrate staple in Uganda. This research will be the first study to offer a pre-release assessment of farmer attitudes towards GM technology, as well as pioneer a new, participatory methodological program that captures the complexities of farmer decision-making around GM crops.