CUREJ - College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal

Genetically Modified Organisms and Southern African Food Policy

Andrew J. Leahey, University of Pennsylvania

Division: Social Sciences

Dept/Program: Political Science

Document Type: Undergraduate Student Research

Mentor(s): Rudra Sil

Date of this Version: 01 April 2013



This paper examines why it is that Zambia and Zimbabwe, two states with similar background conditions and initial positions, arrived at differing policy decisions with regards to genetically modified organisms (GMO). The two neighboring Southern African states are economically dependent on their agricultural sector, share a common colonial legacy, rely heavily on maize as a subsistence crop and have struggled with issues of food security. Their decisions were shaped by their post-colonial legacy and differing conceptions of modernity. In the years following independence, Zambia sought to subsidize their agricultural sector through inputs and credit. Zimbabwe instead focused on land reform and reapportionment, and in so doing hampered their agricultural sector enough to necessitate GMO acceptance. An understanding of the motivations for rejection of GMO in Southern Africa has implications for future food relief programs within Africa and elsewhere.


Comparative Politics | Political Science

Suggested Citation

Leahey, Andrew J., "Genetically Modified Organisms and Southern African Food Policy" 01 April 2013. CUREJ: College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal, University of Pennsylvania,

Date Posted: 10 May 2013




Creative Commons License Articles in CUREJ are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.