Humanitarian Projects

Humanitarian Projects

For more than a decade, PIPRA has provided strategic support for various agricultural research and development projects designed to meet the needs of resource-poor farmers and consumers in the developing world.

For instance, PIPRA provided support for the Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) project, led by the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF). During project negotiations, PIPRA played a pivotal role in safeguarding the interests of public sector research. Specifically, PIPRA worked with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center and the law firm Morrison and Foerster to broker the public-private partnership between the AATF and Monsanto, to ensure that public interests and values were incorporated into the terms of the agreement.

More recently, PIPRA embarked on a research collaboration with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the Honduran research institution Zamorano, with support from the John Templeton Foundation. The purpose of the project was to define a developing country model for the adoption of Bt crops, using Bt maize in Honduras as a case study. The objectives were:

  1. To understand the political issues, drives, and obstacles to the adoption of GM crops in Honduras.
  2. To review social and economic factors to GM adoption.
  3. To identify crops and traits with significant potential for the country.
  4. To elaborate strategies on the potential impact that biotechnology could have on agricultural development in the Central American region.
  5. To increase awareness and understanding of biotechnology applications among local farmers, industry, and government.

PIPRA’s activities in the Bt maize project included hosting a net-mapping event to map the relative influence of stakeholders; offering two workshops on the role of biotechnology in food security for farmers and the public at large; and conducting a socioeconomic study on the impact of Bt maize adoption in Honduras.