Agricultural genetic engineering technology and sustainable development in the African food security context
This dissertation seeks to address specific questions: the extent to which SD informs proponents of GE benefits, how farmers' practices are included in GE proponents' arguments, and the applicability of the claim that the EU pressures the developing world, and Morocco in particular, to reject GE technology. This dissertation seeks to contribute to both academic and policy discussion on GE crops within the context of African food security. While one is considered globally embraced and the other globally controversial, sustainable development (SD) and agricultural genetic engineering (GE) technology are both examined in this dissertation. The dissertation engages with how proponents of genetic engineering (GE) technology argue for its capacity to benefit sustainable development (SD) in the context of African food security. Three sources of information constitute the basis of analysis and discussion. First, meta-analysis and systematic review of peer-reviewed articles and policy studies which argue for SD benefits gained through GE technology within the context of African food security. Second, taking Morocco as a case study, this dissertation uses both interviews and policy analysis to understand how sustainable development informs policy and academic discussion on GE technology. Third, discussions and observations in national and international conferences have been key to build connections between the examined studies and the networks of their authors. The opportunity to interact with these authors has been tremendously beneficial, both to learn about the policy significance of the examined studies, and to understand the research and policy networks of the authors. Arguments supporting SD benefits of GE technology are examined in four stages. In the first stage, I apply the reviewed theoretical and methodological approaches to examine the studies which argue for SD benefits of GE crops. This stage helps identify the major trends of the reviewed Agricultural GE and Sustainable Development in the African Context studies. In the second stage, I focus on SD benefits of GE crops and African farmers. In this stage, I present an elaborate list of SD benefits of GE crops as argued by the examined studies; I also critique these studies. In the third stage, I critique how GE proponents portray SD social benefits in the examined studies. In the fourth stage, I test the prevalent claim about the EU pressure on African countries to reject GE technology, taking Morocco as a case study.
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