Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN)

National policy regarding food aid and commercial trade in GM crops and potential farm-level impacts of adopting GM crops - South Africa (RABSAC - Phase II)
Marnus Gouse


The main objectives of Phase II of the Regional Approach to Biosafety for Southern African Countries (RABSAC) research project are to:

  • Estimate the impact that different import policies toward GM commodities might have on food security in the SADC region;
  • Estimate the possible farm-level impacts and adoption rate indications if GM crops were permitted to be released for commercial production by national authorities; and
  • Analyzing commercial risks that SADC countries are likely to face in the destination export markets both regionally and internationally if permission to plant GM crops was granted.
Due to different agricultural sector development levels, different production systems, different priority crops and different agricultural and trade policies, some of the above mentioned research objectives are less or differently applicable to the three focal countries i.e. Malawi, Mauritius and South Africa.

South Africa does not receive food aid and has been producing genetically modified crops since 1997. This report will focus in detail on the performance and farm level impacts of the GM crops that are currently being produced in South Africa so as to supply the RABSAC project with information on what can possibly be expected in other SADC countries. This report will also touch on the effect GM crop introduction has had on trade in agricultural crops in South Africa.

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