...The change in regulations would potentially lead to an improvement in yields. This is aligned with China’s ambition of becoming self-sufficient in essential grains and oilseeds in the coming years. There are specific targets in products like pork, where the country wants to produce 95% of its consumption by 2025...

 

 

China to adopt genetically modified maize and soy: Why it matters for South Africa

If China becomes a consistent net exporter of maize, South Africa would have to explore markets elsewhere

 

By Wandile Sihlobo, DownToEarth (India)

17 June 2022

 

Something important for global agriculture happened this past week but received minimal media coverage. The Chinese National Crop Variety Approval Committee released two standards that clear the path for cultivating genetically modified (GM) crops in the country.

 

This has been the missing piece in the regulations for the commercial growing of genetically modified maize and soybeans in China. The government has two steps in these regulations. These are a “safety certificate” and a “variety approval” before crops can be commercially cultivated.

 

Various genetically modified maize and soybean varieties have received the safety certificate since 2019. What’s been missing has been the “variety approval”. Now that hurdle has been cleared and commercialisation of genetically modified crops in China is a real possibility.

 

This message was also echoed by the Chinese Agriculture Ministry. It noted that “China plans to approve more genetically modified (GM) maize varieties.” Currently, China imports genetically modified maize and soybean but prohibits domestic cultivation of the crops.

 

The change in regulations would potentially lead to an improvement in yields. This is aligned with China’s ambition of becoming self-sufficient in essential grains and oilseeds in the coming years. There are specific targets in products like pork, where the country wants to produce 95% of its consumption by 2025.

 

South African farmers and agribusinesses need to pay close attention to these developments because it will have an impact on the long-term growth of the domestic agricultural sector.

 

The increase in production in other parts of the world, specifically in maize, where South Africa is a net exporter, could bring increased competition and downward pressure on prices in the medium term. Some of South Africa’s key maize export markets are South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Vietnam. All have proximity to China.

 

If China progressively increases production and becomes a consistent net exporter of maize, South Africa would have to explore markets elsewhere. This would be a challenge...

 

The debate ...

 

The consequences ...

 

more, including links, chart    

https://www.downtoearth.org.in/blog/africa/china-to-adopt-genetically-modified-maize-and-soy-why-it-matters-for-south-africa-83346