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Study details essential role of trust in agricultural biotech partnerships
Date:11/1/2012

mber of Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) said that in a trusting relationship there are no secret motives, no hidden agendas and everything is on the table.

Added a researcher at the Institut de l'Environnement et de Recherche Agricoles (INERA): "This is our philosophy: tell the farmer what we are doing, why we are doing it, and the way we are doing it."

Multilingual community education workshops were found to be helpful to advancing several of the projects studied when it came to breaking barriers in communication.

In Burkina Faso, on the other hand, a significant challenge arose when researchers failed to communicate with journalists -- a key conduit for information reaching the public.

"Instead of sharing information about the technology, researchers were referring journalists up the bureaucratic ladder. Such disconnect between researchers' knowledge of the technology and the uninformed community fostered public distrust in the technology and the research and development process. This posed a significant challenge to the projects' further outreach efforts to appeasing a skeptical and apprehensive public."

Deliver the results expected

A top priority on the trust checklist was accountability for promises and results. This imperative was summed up by a South African biotech maize farmer as a three-part process: saying something, meaning it and then actually doing it. In short, successful delivery on promises builds trust.

An executive of Tanzania's Agricultural Innovation Research Foundation agreed, saying that trust will develop when partners are "accountable in channeling resources in areas that have been agreed," and when every participant delivers the outputs that have been agreed from the beginning.

Some stakeholders cited slow regulatory processes as barriers to building trust, as the private sector had difficulties anticipating the needs of the regulatory bodies and unders
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Contact: Terry Collins
tc@tca.tc
416-538-8712
Sandra Rotman Centre for Global Health
Source:Eurekalert

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