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Agronomy 2017, 7(1), 24; doi:10.3390/agronomy7010024

A Survey: Potential Impact of Genetically Modified Maize Tolerant to Drought or Resistant to Stem Borers in Uganda

1
School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5064, South Australia, Australia
2
National Crops Resources Research Institute, National Agricultural Research Organisation, P.O Box 7084 Kampala, Uganda
3
Rothamsted Research, Harpenden AL5 2JQ, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Tristan Coram
Received: 10 November 2016 / Revised: 27 February 2017 / Accepted: 14 March 2017 / Published: 17 March 2017
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Abstract

Maize production in Uganda is constrained by various factors, but especially drought and stem borers contribute to significant yield losses. Genetically modified (GM) maize with increased drought tolerance and/or Bt insect resistance (producing the Bacillus thuringiensis Cry protein) is considered as an option. For an ex ante impact analysis of these technologies, a farmer survey was carried out in nine districts of Uganda, representing the major farming systems. The results showed that farmers did rate stem borer and drought as the main constraints for maize farming. Most farmers indicated a positive attitude towards GM maize, and 86% of all farmers said they would grow GM maize. Farmer estimated yield losses to drought and stem borer damage were on average 54.7% and 23.5%, respectively, if stress occurred. Taking the stress frequency into consideration (67% for both), estimated yield losses were 36.5% and 15.6% for drought and stem borer, respectively. According to the ex-ante partial budget analysis, Bt hybrid maize could be profitable, with an average value/cost ratio of 2.1. Drought tolerant hybrid maize had lower returns and a value/cost ratio of 1.5. Negative returns occurred mainly for farmers with non-stressed grain yields below 2 t·ha−1. The regulatory framework in Uganda needs to be finalized with consideration of strengthening key institutions in the maize sector for sustainable introduction of GM maize. View Full-Text
Keywords: Bt insect resistance; drought tolerance; ex ante impact assessment; GM maize; stem borer Bt insect resistance; drought tolerance; ex ante impact assessment; GM maize; stem borer
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wamatsembe, I.M.; Asea, G.; Haefele, S.M. A Survey: Potential Impact of Genetically Modified Maize Tolerant to Drought or Resistant to Stem Borers in Uganda. Agronomy 2017, 7, 24.

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