AgBioForum
Articles in Press
Consumer Acceptance of Sugar Derived from Genetically Modified Sugarcane in South Africa
H. Vermeulen, M. Gouse, M. Delport, M. Louw, & T. Miller

The study investigated the perceptions of and acceptance by South African consumers regarding sugar derived from genetically modified sugarcane (‘GM sugar’). The results are based on a demographically representative consumer survey in the Gauteng Province of South Africa, conducted in 2017. Logistic regression models indicated that socio-economic group and age were the most significant factors explaining consumers’ willingness to purchase ‘GM sugar’. Product acceptance decreased with socio-economic status and age. Additional information on the potential benefits of sugar derived from GM cane increased middle-income and more affluent consumers’ willingness to purchase, with the opposite effect on low income consumers. Pro-GM consumers were willing to pay an 8.7% premium for ‘GM sugar,’ motivated by the environmental benefits argument. Positive marketing messages focusing on the potential role of ‘GM sugar’ in food security improvement, food affordability, and ensuring the future of the local sugar industry should be disseminated through appropriate marketing channels as presented in this paper.

 

Consumer Demand and Prospects for the Commercialization of Biofortified Bananas in Uganda
E. Kikulwe & M. Asindu

Biofortified banana (Musa spp.) is being promoted by the biotechnology industry to reduce Vitamin A deficiency and enhance the nutrition status of vulnerable populations in banana growing regions of the world. Pending its commercialization in some developing countries, there is a need to quantify demand and gauge the existing market demand for biofortified banana. Applying a contingent valuation method (CVM), we surveyed 233 Ugandan banana-consuming households, of which 32%, 45%, and 17.5% in the three regions surveyed (Central, Western, and Eastern regions, respectively) were willing to pay UGX 6,000 ($1.70 US) more per 22-kilogram bunch of biofortified bananas than for the equivalent weight in non-biofortified green cooking bananas. Our study calculates an annual potential demand for biofortified bananas of 2.6 million metric tons, with an estimated market value of UGX 2,542 billion ($673.5 million US), suggesting that, pending commercialization, there is already a huge market for biofortified bananas in Uganda.

 

An Economic Account of Innovation Policy in Canada: A Comparison of Canola, Wheat, and Pulses
S. Malla & D.G. Brewin

There is significant evidence that investments in agricultural research generate gains to farmers and the economy as a whole. The objective of this paper is to provide an assessment of the biotech industry in Canada including an update of producers’ benefits from herbicide tolerant canola, comparisons of gains with other crops, and the need for government involvement. The study also assesses the evolution of research policies in Canada over time, exploring the role of government in today’s crop research. The study develops a framework to analyze options for agricultural research, including property rights, subsidies to private researchers, and public research in the context of three representative case studies: canola (a large crop with significant privatization in plant breeding), wheat (a large crop without significant privatization), and pulses (a small crop with adequate crop development funding through check-offs). Current challenges and opportunities facing crop innovation are also discussed.

 

Glyphosate Use in Asia and Implications of Possible Restrictions on its Use
G. Brookes

This study examined the farm level implications of restrictions on glyphosate use. These are likely to be higher weed control costs, poorer levels of weed control, increased incidence of pests, lower yields and loss of benefits associated with no tillage and the adoption of GM HT crops. There is likely to be more use of alternative herbicides and additional use of manual, mechanical, and cultural weed control methods. These changes are expected to increase the annual cost of weed control across the seven countries by between $22/ha and $30/ha. In relation to the environmental impact associated with herbicide use, it is likely to result in a small decrease in the total amount of herbicide active ingredient used across the seven countries (-1% to -11%) although in terms of the associated environmental impact, as measured by the EIQ indicator, the average EIQ load/ha would increase by between 0.4% and 11.6%, highlighting a net poorer environmental outcome.

 

Biotechnology and Demand Concerns: The Case of Genetically Modified US Sugar Beets
P.L. Kennedy, A. Schmitz, & K.L. DeLong

While genetically modified (GM) crops have provided significant agricultural productivity gains in recent years, some consumers oppose GM products as being unsafe. We use the case of GM sugar beets and their recent adoption by US producers to examine the effect of GM technology using a partial equilibrium framework. This analysis provides insights on the demand for sugar from GM US sugar beets versus sugar from non-GMO US sugarcane. We show that the negative demand impacts for sugar from GMO sugar beets can outweigh the supply-induced gains of GM sugar beet research and development. However, this is not likely to come about by mandatory labeling given the recent adoption of the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard, which does not classify sugar as a bioengineered food.


© 2020 AgBioForum | ISSN: 1522936X | Design and support provided by Express Academic Services | Contact ABF: editor@agbioforum.org