Enhancing rural agricultural productivity using proven technologies such as genetically modified (GM) maize production has many advantages as a pathway to economic development and poverty reduction. However, despite the global rise in GM maize and potential benefits of GM technology, the production rates and yields of smallholder farmers remain very low for reasons that are poorly understood. With this background, the aim of this study was to investigate the drivers of genetically modified (GM) maize awareness, participation, and intensity of production at the household level. Data were collected from 400 randomly selected respondents from Ngqushwa Local Municipality using a semi-structured questionnaire. Through a triple hurdle model, the study revealed that GM maize awareness is negatively influenced by age and female gender and positively influenced by married status, employment and number of years in school. Conditional on awareness of GM maize varieties, both participation and intensity of participation in GM maize production are positively influenced by land size, female gender, group membership, income and ownership of arable land and negatively influenced by employment. The study recommends that priority should be given to these socio-economic and institutional (group membership) factors by targeting GM maize awareness campaigns using platforms more suited to female-headed, older, less educated and unemployed rural farming households. The study also recommends addressing income, secure land ownership and access to large areas of land.


awareness; intensity; GM; households; participation; triple hurdle

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Published : 2022-10-10


Owetu Zamisa
Student  South Africa
Amon Taruvinga 
University of Fort Hare, South Africa  South Africa

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