Climate and energy
Working paper

An assessment of South Africa’s non-genetically modified maize export potential

by Joseph L. Mawasha, Marnus Gouse, and Tracy Davids
October 2019


The genetically modified (GM) status of South African maize has been observed as a challenge restraining the extent of South Africa's maize exports to major maize importing markets. This study seeks quantify South Africa's maize export potential to non-GM maize markets with the aim of establishing whether there are opportunities for non-GM maize production expansion as well as economic benefits for commercial maize farmers. First, the study identified South Africa’s non-GM maize markets using a growth share matrix. Second, South Africa’s non-GM maize export markets with high trade potential were identified using an indicative potential analysis. A gravity model was then used to determine potential export markets with trade stimulating and restraining effects. Results suggest that markets such as Angola, Zimbabwe, Venezuela, Greece, Zambia and Austria exhibited the highest trade potential among the identified potential non-GM maize markets. However, country specific effects indicated that none of the non-GM maize markets had trade stimulating effects.