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Societal acceptability conditions of genome editing for upland rice in Madagascar

Nlend Nkott A.L., Temple L.. 2021. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 167 : 11 p..

DOI: 10.18167/DVN1/TJMQO0

DOI: 10.1016/j.techfore.2021.120720

The evolution of varietal creation methods led in 2012 to the advent of the genome editing technique, CRISPR-CaS9. This technique would make it possible to create new varieties quickly and cheaply. Although some consider CRISPR-CaS9 to be revolutionary, others consider it a potential societal threat. To document the controversy, we explain the socioeconomic conditions under which this technique could be accepted for the creation of a rainfed rice variety in Madagascar. The methodological framework is based on 38 individual and semistructured interviews, a multistakeholder forum with organizations interviewedo, and a survey of 148 rice producers. Results reveal that the acceptability of genome editing requires (i) strengthening the seed system through the operationalization of regulatory structures and the upgrading of stakeholders' knowledge of genetically modified organisms, (ii) assessing the effects of the edited variety on biodiversity and soil nitrogen dynamics, and (iii) strengthening the technical and human capacities of the biosafety body. Structural mechanisms for regulating the seed system are necessary to ensure safe experimentation of genome editing techniques. Organizational innovation also appears to be necessary. The study documents how collective learning between communities of scientists and nonscientists is a component of systemic processes of varietal innovation.

Mots-clés : riz pluvial; amélioration des plantes; acceptabilité; essai de variété; enquête sur exploitations agricoles; organisme génétiquement modifié; essai de semences; madagascar; crispr-cas9; édition génomique

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