Food self-sufficiency and GM regulation under conflicting interests: the case of GM maize in South Africa

Qianqian Shao, Dusan Drabik, Marnus Gouse*, Justus Wesseler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Food self-sufficiency is an important contributor to food security, and one of the potential solutions to this problem is increased food production productivity through agricultural biotechnology. In this paper, we study the relationship between a country’s genetically modified (GM) food policy and the food self-sufficiency rate (SSR) under conflicting interests, with the example of GM crop regulation and GM maize production in South Africa. We develop a theoretical model of a small open economy and investigate the GM food policy as the outcome of a GM and a non-GM food groups’ lobbying game that follows the model of Grossman and Helpman. The government maximises its payoff by considering the weighted sum of social welfare and contributions from interest groups. Our findings suggest that a lower GM food regulation supports domestic agricultural production, and we offer potential reasons why a country that has a low SSR still has a strict GM food policy regulation. We also find that the food SSR is a biased measure of food availability when both production and consumption change simultaneously.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-128
JournalAgrekon
Volume59
Issue number1
Early online date8 Oct 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020

Keywords

  • food self-sufficiency rate
  • Genetically modified (GM) food
  • GM food policy
  • lobbying
  • maize
  • numerical simulation
  • political economy
  • regulation
  • South Africa

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