Genetically Modified Organisms and Southern African Food Policy
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.