Socioeconomic considerations in biosafety decisionmaking

Methods and implementation

Daniela Horna, ed., Patricia Zambrano, ed., José Benjamin Falck-Zepeda, ed.
ifpri research monograph

Among farmers worldwide, and in particular in developing countries and transition economies, genetically modified (GM) crops have progressively grown in popularity and are now planted in approximately 160 million hectares in 29 countries. In the discussions of biosafety regulations for GM crops and whether to approve such crops for commercialization, many countries, including some African nations, have gone beyond environmental assessments and are now introducing socioeconomic considerations as part of their decisionmaking process. While there is scientific consensus that GM crops are as safe as conventional crops, these additional regulatory layers may be motivated by policymakers' concerns regarding public perception. There are, however, very few guidelines on how to ensure that this inclusion of socioeconomic considerations results in a robust and efficient decisionmaking process. Socioeconomic Considerations in Biosafety Decisionmaking: Methods and Implementation provides guidance to professionals involved in assessing the ex ante impact of a GM crop in the context of an approval process. Using the case of GM cotton in Uganda, the authors illustrate the evaluation of socioeconomic impact on farmers, the national economy, and trade.

The authors identify three crucial steps in making socioeconomic assessment part of a biosafety regulatory process, decisionmaking process, or both. First, select appropriate research tools and methods that yield robust results but that also take into account time and budget constraints. Second, evaluate the institutional setting of GM technology deployment. Third, allow for the uncertainties inherent in the assessment by using ranges of values for the parameters under evaluation, including yield, technology efficiency, and prices. These and other conclusions should provide useful guidance to policymakers and development researchers in countries that opt to incorporate socioeconomic considerations into their biosafety regulations, as well as their decisionmaking process for GM crop approval.

Tables and Figures vii
Abbreviations and Acronyms xi
Foreword xiii
Acknowledgments xv
Chapter 1: Introduction Daniela Horna, Patricia Zambrano, and José Falck-Zepeda 1
Chapter 2: Research Framework José Falck-Zepeda, Daniela Horna, and Patricia Zambrano 15
Chapter 3: The Cotton Sector in Uganda Daniela Horna, Patricia Zambrano, and Theresa Sengooba 25
Chapter 4: Setting the Foundation:Uncovering Potential Constraints on the Delivery and Adoption of GM Cotton in Uganda Patricia Zambrano, José Falck-Zepeda, Theresa Sengooba, John Komen, and Daniela Horna 47
Chapter 5: Assessing Genetically Modified Cotton's Economic Impact on Farmers Daniela Horna, José Falck-Zepeda, and Miriam Kyotalimye
Chapter 6: Economic Impact on the Cotton Sector José Falck-Zepeda, Daniela Horna, and Miriam Kyotalimye 95
Chapter 7: Alternatives for Coexistence of GM and Organic Cotton Production in Uganda Guillaume Gruère 129
Chapter 8: Conclusions and Recommendations Daniela Horna, Patricia Zambrano, and José Falck-Zepeda 145
Appendix 1: Household Survey Instrument 153
Appendix 2: Experts Consulted in Uganda, 2007 178
Appendix 3: Ginneries Report on Seed Cotton and Cotton Lint, October 7, 2007 179
Appendix 4: History of Organic Cotton in Uganda 180
Appendix 5: Net-Map Toolbox 182
Appendix 6: Stochastic Dominance 184
Appendix 7: Sensitivity Analysis of Marginal Benefits of the Organic Production Plus Premium Price Simulation 185
Appendix 8: Summary of the Net Present Value of Net Benefits from Economic Surplus Estimations 186
Appendix 9: Summary of Total Net Benefits Statistics from Economic Surplus Estimations 187
Appendix 10: Summary of Internal Rate of Return Statistics from Economic Surplus Estimations 188
References 189
Contributors 201
Index 205