Transitioning out of GM maize: Towards nutrition security, climate adaptation, agro-ecology and social justice

This Four-page document summarises the recent report published by the African Centre for Biodiversity: Transitioning out of GM maize: to agroecology for sustainable, socially just and nutritional food systems, , written by ACB’S Linzi Lewis, that argues the need to urgently shift away from the mono-focus on a maize towards embracing a diversity of crops – particularly indigenous African summer grain crops such as sorghum and millet – and diverse agricultural practices that support healthy ecosystems, economies and societies.

The prolonged drought has brought into question the over-reliance and over-investment in maize, and particularly GM maize, which is the staple food for millions of South Africans, and fodder for animal farming, especially poultry.

The poor performance of maize and therefore importing an unprecedented amount of maize to meet local demand, met with a depreciating rand in a volatile food commodity market, illustrates the fragility of the dominant agro-food system, and its lack of resiliency.

Industrialised agriculture’s reliance on high chemical inputs, has resulted in nutritionally deficient soils, foods and peoples. The current food system creates and perpetuates hunger and inequality, and needs urgent redress, by facilitating the production of and access to quality and diverse foods.

This lobby paper highlights the ineffectiveness and inappropriateness of the current agro-food system in South Africa to meet both current and future food and nutritional security, and the urgent need to re-orientate towards agroecology and food sovereignty.

For full report go to


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