Publication Date

2001

Abstract

In this research paper eighty people have been interviewed in Burundi to collect information on whether and how agro-biotechnology can make a positive contribution to food security in Burundi. The paper not only provides Burundian insights on the ways in which agro-biotechnology can contribute to food security, but also explores different aspects of food production in Burundi and discusses constraints to the augmentation of agricultural production. In order to examine agro-biotechnology promises of self-sufficient farming in Burundi, particular attention is given to small farmers, who regardless of their position in Burundian society, are the primary producers of food and consequently guarantee food security. The findings in this paper suggest that some people in the country are aware of agro-biotechnology, almost half of the interviewees measured their understanding of agro-biotechnology as adequate. Furthermore, 86% of those interviewed had heard news about agro-biotechnology via radio and were attentively following news about what was happening in the world concerning this topic. The awareness was greatest among those educated in science and professionals in the agricultural field. Many people whom I asked about agro-biotechnology responded that it would benefit Burundi. However, nearly half of the interviewees believed that agro-biotechnology would benefit small farmers if appropriate measures were taken. These interviewees were concerned about whom agro-biotechnology will really benefit and the ways in which to reduce the risks associated with this technique.

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