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Crop Biotech Update

GM White Maize Contributes to Food Security in South Africa

May 26, 2021

In South Africa, white maize is the only staple food crop produced using genetically modified (GM) cultivars. From 2001 to 2018, GM white maize has brought welfare benefits amounting to ~US$695 million, according to a study conducted by experts from the University of Arkansas and published in the Global Food Security journal.

GM white maize is produced on a widespread commercial basis for direct human consumption in South Africa. To estimate the total welfare benefits of this GM crop in the country, the researchers computed the economic and environmental impact from 2001 to 2018.

Results showed that GM white maize has contributed to food security by an average of 4.6 million additional rations per year. Furthermore, GM maize has reduced environmental damage by US$0.34 per hectare or US$291,721 annually, compared to conventional hybrid white maize.

Read more findings in Global Food Security.

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