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Experiences in effective communication on transgenic technology in Africa - the case of the insect resistant maize for Africa (IRMA) project

Author: Wangalachi, A.
Author: Poland, D.
Author: Mugo, S.
Author: Gichuki, S.T.
Author: Ouya, D.
Author: Kimani, G.
Author: Rabar, J.
Year: 2011
ISSN: 1684-5315
Abstract: The Insect Resistant Maize for Africa (IRMA) Project, aimed to improve food security through developing and deploying locally adapted stem borer resistant maize varieties using both conventional and biotechnology mediated methods, especially Bt technology. This technology uses a gene from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) to create transgenic maize varieties. Transgenic technologies have been a controversial and emotive topic in recent years, and the IRMA project was launched against this backdrop. To ensure widespread acceptance of the IRMA project and its Bt technology, the project carefully planned and implemented its communication and public awareness strategy. Following its public launch in March 2000, the project promoted an open communication environment and continuously engaged with stakeholders to update them on progress. The project achieved this through targeted and diverse communications products such as media articles and broadcast news pieces, newsletters, websites, videos and reports. To complement these, the project conducted annual stakeholders' meetings, and specialized training for frontline project staff and collaborators, especially extension agents. This paper reviews the IRMA Project's public awareness and communication strategy and analyzes its effectiveness.
Language: English
Copyright: CIMMYT manages Intellectual Assets as International Public Goods. The user is free to download, print, store and share this work. In case you want to translate or create any other derivative work and share or distribute such translation/derivative work, please contact indicating the work you want to use and the kind of use you intend; CIMMYT will contact you with the suitable license for that purpose.
Type: Article
Region: Central Africa
Region: Eastern Africa
Region: Southern Africa
Region: West Africa
Pages: 4694-4698
Journal issue: 23
Journal: African Journal of Biotechnology
Journal volume: 10
Keywords: Transgenic technology
Keywords: Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) maize technology
Keywords: Communication
Keywords: Public awareness
Keywords: insect resistant maize for Africa (IRMA) project

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  • Maize
    Maize breeding, phytopathology, entomology, physiology, quality, and biotech

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