CNN International investigated the untapped potential of agriculture in Africa in its regular series Connecting Africa.
SA’s maize industry has enjoyed an astonishing improvement in yields since the adoption of genetically modified (GM) seeds in the 2000/2001 production season. Yields improved from an average of 2.8 tonnes per hectare in 2000/2001 to about 5.9 tonnes per hectare in the 2019/2020 production season.
Logistics will again be tested in 2021. SA is gearing up for another year of a large agricultural harvest and therefore large export volumes, especially in the horticulture and field crop subsectors.
Kenya still prohibits the importation and growing of genetically modified maize. This is a significant hindrance for South Africa as roughly 80% of maize grown in the country is genetically modified.
Policymakers and senior government officials should remember that effective communication is not “a nice to do” but an integral part of policy-making.