Friday, March 13, 2009

Biotech Crops CAN and DO Make a Difference for Many Farmers

While many people in the developed world rail against the use of biotechnology in crops and plants generally, they seem to accept that same technology in medicine. Yet, in many parts of the world now, biotechnology influenced crops are making a major challenge to older style varieties and offering a substantial boost to farm incomes. In India alone, the use of GM cotton has been an outstanding success

The following article provides a summary of their current range, and it is generally a very positive impact on users.


In agricultural-based developing countries, biotech crops are an engine of rural economic growth that, in turn, can contribute substantially to national economic growth.

Global adoption of plant biotechnology continues to grow, according to a recent report released by the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications showing that 13.3 million farmers in 25 countries grew biotech crops on 125 million hectares in 2008 - a 9.4pc increase over global acreage in 2007.

Notably, 90pc, or 12.3 million, were small and resource-poor farmers in developing countries.

More than half (55pc) of the world's population lives in these 25 countries, equivalent to 8pc of the 1.5 billion hectares of all cropland in the world.

In 2007, biotech crops saved 14.2 billion kg of carbon dioxide, equivalent to 6.3 million fewer cars.
The increase in approvals and adoption demonstrates that countries around the world, especially developing countries, recognise the benefits of plant biotechnology.

Allen Van Deyzne, senior scientist at the University of California-Davis, said the report makes it clear that biotechnology "can be useful for everyone regardless of economic status, with 15 of the 25 countries studied being from developing nations". "The report shows the continued interest in using advanced tools for sustainable food production worldwide and that innovation in biotechnology is no longer limited to a few countries and corporations," Dr Van Deyzne said.

Denise Dewar, executive director for plant biotechnology at CropLife International, said the increase was a testament to the fact that, "when given the opportunity to choose between conventional or biotech seed, farmers will plant biotech crops". "In 2008, our industry saw incredible adoption of the technology in many parts of the world, especially in Africa, Latin America and Asia, where farmers stand to gain the most," she said. "Worldwide, farmers are seeing the tangible benefits of biotech crops, such as increased crop productivity and income and decreased impact on their land."

The table provides a graphical image of the extent of biotechnology influenced crop plants. And there is more coming. In the NT, where Panama disease is an emerging problem, biotechnology may offer solutions and enable development of new resistant types.


Anonymous said...

looks like you have no inside information on what is happening in india with GM cotton. don't look for information provided by biotech corporations and you'll be surprised.

or maybe you're running a GM disinformation blog anyway.

marcio marcelino

Anonymous said...

The GM cotton issue in India is multi faceted and not as clear as those on opposite sides of the views seem to espouse. Those pushing GM cotton seem to have poorly informed users, those opposed have also muddied the facts eg suicide rates.

I expect to see a retreat from GM cotton in India, despite what the media seems tobe currently saying.