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Biotech Crops Experience Remarkable Dozen Years of Double-Digit Growth
Date:2/13/2008

of cutting hunger and poverty in half by 2015, biotech crops must play an even bigger role in the next decade."

According to the report, biotech crops have delivered unprecedented benefits that contribute toward the MDGs, particularly in countries like China, India and South Africa. The potential in the second decade of biotech crop commercialization (2006-2015) is enormous.

Studies in India and China show Bt cotton has increased yields by up to 50 percent and 10 percent, respectively, and reduced insecticide use in both countries up to 50 percent or more. In India, growers increased income up to $250 or more per hectare, increasing farmer income nationally from $840 million to $1.7 billion last year. Chinese farmers saw similar gains with incomes growing an average of $220 per hectare, or more than $800 million nationally. Importantly, these studies showed strong farmer confidence in the crops with 9 of 10 Indian farmers replanting biotech cotton year on year, and 100 percent of Chinese farmers choosing to continue utilizing the technology.

While these types of economic benefits are well substantiated, the socio-economic benefits associated with biotech crops are starting to emerge. A study of 9,300 Bt cotton and non-Bt cotton-growing households in India indicated that women and children in Bt cotton households have slightly more access to social benefits than non-Bt cotton growers. These include slight increases in pre-natal visits, assistance with at-home births, higher school enrollment for children and a higher proportion of children vaccinated.

Rosalie Ellasus, a widowed mother of 3 children, found similar benefits, choosing farming as a way to support her family. "With the extra income generated from biotech maize, investing in farming made sense and allowed me to earn more than the medical technology field I was trained in," she said. "The biotech maize gave me peace of mind and meant less time monitoring for pests. With stack cor
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SOURCE International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech
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