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Status of development, regulation and adoption of GM agriculture in Africa: Views and positions of stakeholder groups


  • Adenle, Ademola A.
  • Morris, E. Jane
  • Parayil, Govindan


The use of genetically modified (GM) crop technology in tackling food security problems and poverty reduction in Africa continues to generate debates over its benefits and safety. Only four countries, South Africa, Sudan, Burkina Faso and Egypt have commercialized GM crops in Africa but controversy surrounds current cultivation of GM maize in Egypt. Our study provides new perspectives on the status, development and regulation of GM crops through examining the views of 305 stakeholders in six African countries across four regions: South Africa, Kenya (East Africa), Egypt and Tunisia (North Africa), Ghana and Nigeria (West Africa), supplemented by interviews with relevant international organizations. The study revealed the challenges leading to the development of biosafety regulatory frameworks and the role of individual stakeholders in the facilitation of GM crops across African countries. This study also revealed that some countries may go through a Fiber–Feed–Food (F3) approach to adopt GM crops where Bt cotton will be adopted first followed by GM crops for livestock feed while undergoing all the necessary assessments before producing GM foods for human consumption. An overwhelming majority of stakeholders placed emphasis on risk analysis (risk assessment and management) in view of limited capacity, lack of scientific expertise and public concern, and encouraged a centralized approach to risk assessment similar to the European Union model of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

Suggested Citation

  • Adenle, Ademola A. & Morris, E. Jane & Parayil, Govindan, 2013. "Status of development, regulation and adoption of GM agriculture in Africa: Views and positions of stakeholder groups," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 159-166.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:43:y:2013:i:c:p:159-166
    DOI: 10.1016/j.foodpol.2013.09.006

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Vermeulen, Hester & Kirsten, Johann F. & Doyer, Ockert T. & Schonfeldt, H.C., 2005. "Attitudes and acceptance of South African urban consumers towards genetically modified white maize," Agrekon, Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA), vol. 44(1), pages 1-20, March.
    2. Bett, Charles & Ouma, James Okuro & Groote, Hugo De, 2010. "Perspectives of gatekeepers in the Kenyan food industry towards genetically modified food," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 332-340, August.
    3. E. Jane Morris, 2011. "Modern Biotechnology—Potential Contribution and Challenges for Sustainable Food Production in Sub-Saharan Africa," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(6), pages 1-14, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Chinedu, Obi & Sanou, Edouard & Tur-Cardona, Juan & Bartolini, Fabio & Gheysen, Godelieve & Speelman, Stijn, 2018. "Farmers’ valuation of transgenic biofortified sorghum for nutritional improvement in Burkina Faso: A latent class approach," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 132-140.
    2. Peter Scott & Jennifer Thomson & David Grzywacz & Serge Savary & Richard Strange & Jean B. Ristaino & Lise Korsten, 2016. "Genetic modification for disease resistance: a position paper," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 8(4), pages 865-870, August.
    3. Klara Fischer & Camilla Eriksson, 2016. "Social Science Studies on European and African Agriculture Compared: Bringing Together Different Strands of Academic Debate on GM Crops," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(9), pages 1-17, August.
    4. Andrew Bowman, 2015. "Sovereignty, Risk and Biotechnology: Zambia's 2002 GM Controversy in Retrospect," Development and Change, International Institute of Social Studies, vol. 46(6), pages 1369-1391, November.


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