Date of Graduation

5-2021

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Agricultural Economics (MS)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness

Advisor

Lawton Lanier Nalley

Committee Member

Petronella Chaminuka

Second Committee Member

Marty D. Matlock

Third Committee Member

Marijke D'Haese

Keywords

Food security, Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), Maize, Profitability, South Africa

Abstract

White maize in South Africa is the only staple crop produced on a widespread commercial basis for direct human consumption using genetically modified (GM) cultivars. Using a combined economic and environmental approach, we estimate the total welfare benefits attributable to GM white maize in South Africa for 2001-2018 are $694.7 million. Food security benefits attributable to GM white maize in South Africa also manifest through an average of 4.6 million additional white maize rations annually. To achieve these additional annual rations using conventional hybrid maize, the additional land required would range from 1,088 hectares in 2001 to 217,788 hectares in 2014. Results indicate that GM maize reduces environmental damage by $0.34 per hectare or $291,721 annually, compared to conventional hybrid white maize.

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