South Africa: Agricultural Biotechnology Annual
Although the production area of Genetically Engineered (GE) crops in South Africa decreased in 2015 to approximately 2.3 million hectares, from 2.9 million hectares in 2014, due to a severe drought that limited plantings, the percentage of GE seeds to total corn seed planted remained unchanged at 89 percent. However, South Africa remained the ninth largest producer of GE crops in the world and by far the largest in Africa. South Africa approved three new GE events for general release in 2015, including the long-awaited drought tolerance trait in corn. Due to the slow pace of approval by the South African government, resulting in unsynchronized GE approvals, the United States is still not allowed to export GE corn to be used for food and feed to South Africa. Amidst the drought, South Africa will have to import about 3.0 million tons of corn to supplement local production.