ANALYSIS OF THE DYNAMICS OF BIOTECH CORN DIFFUSION AMONG SMALL-SCALE FARMERS IN THE PHILIPPINES USING THE INNOVATION TREE METHOD

Cleofe S. Torres, Romel A. Daya, Ma. Teresita B. Osalla, Juvy Leonarda N. Gopela

Abstract


Biotech corn is one of the many genetically modified or biotechnology (GM/biotech) crops developed to address food security issues and the only biotech crop approved for commercial production in the Philippines. This case study analyzed the diffusion of biotech corn among resource-poor, small-scale Filipino farmers in three corn-producing provinces (Pampanga, Iloilo, and South Cotabato). It used the Innovation Tree method in surfacing the themes that describe such dynamics of diffusion.

Results indicate that the diffusion of biotech corn was highly affected by several factors. Early adoption in many communities was faciliated by technicians of multinational seed companies through communication channels such as demonstration farms and seminars. Subsequent adoption was ushered in mainly by the early farmer adoptors who shared information about the biotech crop with their fellow farmers through informal conversations. Analysis further asserted that adoption was a complex process of knowledge formation, persuasion, and decision making , and that the dynamics of diffusion was shaped by various social, economic, and cultural factors.




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