Towards a Regional Approach to Biotechnology and Biosafety for Southern African Countries (RABSAC) Food Aid and Commercial Imports of GM Commodities: The Case of Malawi

The purpose of this paper is to estimate how the impact that different import policies toward GM commodities might have on food security in Malawi and the SADC region in general. If the government decides not to import GM commodities, either on commercial terms or as food aid during an emergency, will it jeopardize the country’s access to needed food supplies? The second phase of RABSAC builds on results of the SADC-wide stakeholder consultations to determine the possibility of harmonizing the development and implementation of GM policies, legislation and regulations with a view to addressing the pervasive and deep-rooted poverty and food security in the SADC Region. The paper comprises nine sections. Section 1 provides a general background while Section 2 outlines the objective. Section 3 discusses methodology whereas Section 4 covers food security policies and situation in the country. Trends and quantities of imported food are presented in Section 5 and Section 6 summarises public and government views on importation of GM commodities. Section 7 discusses potential impacts of transgenic maize, cassava and cotton, while Section 8 provides and economic analysis of maize and cotton. Sections 9 and 10 draw conclusions and recommendations on issues raised in the paper, respectively.