2017

M.Sc. candidates Asha Roy and Mohamed Ergibi presenting
Exploring the Drivers of Social License:
Adoption of Bt-brinjal in Bangladesh
Asha Roy
M.Sc. Candidate
 
People’s perceptions of and attitudes towards genetically modified technology may differ from country to country and even within the country. Research on public perceptions of GM technology has examined the concept of “Social License’, primarily from a developed country perspective. This study aims to investigate social license of adopting a new GM crop in a developing country context, focusing on the adoption of Bt-brinjal in Bangladesh.  Bt-brinjal was approved for commercial cultivation in 2013 and Bangladesh became the first developing country to grant the regulatory approval of a GM crop. To achieve the objectives of this study, stakeholders including farmers (adopters and non-adopters), consumers, developers, NGOs and other civil society groups were interviewed during the month of March and April, 2017. A multinomial logit model (MNL) is used to analyze farmers’ (adopters and non-adopters) survey data to explore reasons that drive willingness to adopt Bt-brinjal in Bangladesh. The consumer survey shows that the consumers who live near the adopters are more familiar with Bt-brinjal. NGOs and other civil society groups tend to be opponents of this technology.  
 
Awareness and Adoption of FireSmart Canada:
Barriers and Incentives
Mohamed Ergibi
M.Sc. Candidate
 
Homeowners and communities in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) are strongly encouraged to protect their property from the risk of forest fires. FireSmart Canada has been created for this purpose and is recognized as a powerful tool in mitigating loss caused by fires; however, individuals and organizations in the WUI have not fully committed to self-protection. This research aimed to assess factors that influence the awareness and adoption of FireSmart activities in Canada. Binary logistic regression has been used to test the effects of socio-demographic and other pertinent factors on FireSmart familiarity and engagement. This study found that limited knowledge and financial resources were the main causes for preventing people from engaging in FireSmart. In addition, the research found that living in a rural setting, positive risk perception, fire damage experience, residence region, FireSmart awareness, level of education, gender, and age, all are significant predictors of FireSmart adoption. Moreover, the awareness of FireSmart actions is significantly affected by profession, media source and interaction of age. Findings will be used by FireSmart Canada and the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre to increase awareness and engagement across Canada
Disaster Resilience and Recovery: Small Firms and Hurricane Katrina

The importance of preparedness for disasters is widely discussed in the popular press and the academic literature. It is not difficult to find lists of recommendations for reinforcing a structure, securing its contents, and protecting human life. These recommendations range from permanent structural changes in facilities to last minute adjustments to protect life and property. While recommendations are extensive, the suggestions specific to small businesses, as well as the literature regarding if these practices are employed, are more limited.

Of the research on these recommendation, one central theme emerges: owners are not utilizing many strategies to prepare for adversity. This begs the question: why not? We consider one potential answer: preparation may not ensure recovery and resilience. This possible answer is explored in the context small firms in the fallout of Hurricane Katrina.

Governance for Sustainable Global Agri-food Systems

The pressure on the global agri-food industry to deliver private and public goods sustainably has never been greater or more timely than today.
Governments, and intergovernmental organisations often do not provide the necessary institutional environment for the agri-food sector to deliver and perform. In many situations, the agri-food sector needs to organise such that it by-passes, where necessary, the bottlenecks of governments and local nomenclatures. We present a rudimentary by-pass model of collective action by all stakeholders of the agri-food chain, from farmers, to input suppliers, to processors, traders, distributors, and even to consumers, scientists and civil society.