Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Agricultural Economics (MS)

Degree Level



Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness


Aaron M. Shew

Committee Member

Lawton Lanier Nalley

Second Committee Member

Petronella Chaminuka

Third Committee Member

Klaus Eisenack


GM crops, food insecurity


The economic and environmental benefits of genetically modified (GM) maize in South Africa have been well documented in previous literature. However, concerns about the longevity of these benefits, have been raised following reports of Busseola fusca developing resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) maize in South Africa in 2006. This study uses empirical data to estimate the potential impact of insect resistance on yields and estimates the economic and food availability impacts of genetic deterioration of Bt maize. Using data from South African National Maize Cultivar trials from 1989-2018, yield gains from Bt are observed to peak for Bt maize in 8 provinces from 2006-2010, causing estimated yield losses of 2,080,122 metric tons between 2008 and 2019, which is an estimated loss of $389.6 million USD.

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