The Food Fight - Forecasting the Future Impact of Genetically Modified Crops on Caloric Intake
Hunger in Africa, especially in the sub-Saharan region, is one of the direst situations in the world both currently and in the future. Caloric deficits already plague the region, but in the next ten years, population growth is expected to outpace food production at rates that will drastically increase the deficits. Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), specifically GM crops, have the potential to narrow or eliminate caloric deficits in sub-Saharan Africa by increasing crop yields and output. How will GMOs affect the future of Africa from a business standpoint, and most of all, how effective will they be in solving the hunger problem? To help answer these questions, we created a model that combines inputs of hectares planted of GMO and non GMO crops, their yields, and the projected population of specific countries in Africa in order to estimate how many calories could be produced per person based on different levels of GMO integration. This model and our analysis showed that the integration of current GMO technology would improve caloric output, but not at the pace necessary to keep up with population growth. Moreover, GMO implementation is not likely to exceed 90% of planted hectares in the next ten years because of limited infrastructure, acceptance, and investment. The benefits of introducing current GMO technology will be marginal, and the drastic caloric deficits will persist unless new technological breakthroughs in nutrition or farming methods are developed.