Agriculture & Food Security
1 (Suppl 1)
The potential for improving the efficiency and success of partnerships in agricultural biotechnology is contingent on the presence of trust. As Stephen Covey (2006) asserts in his book The Speed of Trust, trust is the basis of the new global economy and is an essential element of any successful organization . The presence of trust is particularly important in public-private partnerships (PPPs), in which partners with varied interests, goals, and operating principles embark on complex tasks within innovative ventures. Even more crucial is the role of trust in the success of agbiotech initiatives led by PPPs. This is cited throughout the literature on trust and has been confirmed by numerous agricultural stakeholders who participated in our case studies of agbiotech PPPs in Africa [2-9]. Stakeholders linked project successes with the establishment and maintenance of trust throughout the duration of their respective partnerships. When trust was broken or nonexistent in the partnerships, stakeholders reported an evident negative impact on the partnerships. In several cases, stakeholders cited instances in which the erosion of trust led to severed ties among stakeholders of the project or to slow progression of certain phases of the projects, such as product development or biosafety approval.
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