Handbook on Agriculture, Biotechnology and Development
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Handbook on Agriculture, Biotechnology and Development

Edited by Stuart J. Smyth, Peter W.B. Phillips and David Castle

This book is a compendium of knowledge, experience and insight on agriculture, biotechnology and development. Beginning with an account of GM crop adoptions and attitudes towards them, the book assesses numerous crucial processes, concluding with detailed insights into GM products. Drawing on expert perspectives of leading authors from 57 different institutions in 16 countries, it provides a unique, global overview of agbiotech following 20 years of adoption. Many consider GM crops the most rapid agricultural innovation adopted in the history of agriculture. This book provides insights as to why the adoption has occurred globally at such a rapid rate.
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Chapter 24: Adoption decisions

Corinne Alexander


This chapter reviews the literature on farmer adoption decisions for genetically modified (GM) crops, updating Alexander (2006). Previous literature reviews of farmer adoption of GM crops include Fernandez-Cornejo and McBride (2002), Marra et al. (2002), Qaim and Matuschke (2005) and Qaim (2005). This chapter will discuss the research approaches used to examine farmer decision-making and GM crops and then summarizes the results from the literature. Productivity gains and economic growth are often driven by the adoption and diffusion of new technologies; hence there is a vast body of literature in economics and sociology on technology adoption (Feder et al., 1985; Solow, 1994). Farmer adoption of GM crops is distinct from other innovations for two reasons. First, regulatory approval for planting GM crops varies greatly by country and by crop, in part due to an intense debate about the appropriate use of agbiotech among nations, agricultural and consumer groups. Many countries either prohibit the planting of GM crops or have a very slow regulatory approval process (Cohen and Paarlberg, 2004; Thomson, 2004). Second, in countries where there is regulatory approval to plant GM crops, the adoption and diffusion of GM crops has been extremely rapid (Qaim, 2005; James, 2011).

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