The 2013 Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GMCrops, authored by Clive James, Founder and Emeritus Chair of ISAAA, reports that a record 175.2 million hectares of biotech crops were grown globally last year, at an annual growth rate of 3%, or 5 million hectares more from 2012. The global hectarage of biotech crops have increased more than 100-fold in 18 years, from 1.7 million hectares in 1996 to 175.2 million hectares in 2013, making biotech crops the fastest adopted crop technology in recent history.
Developing Countries Planted More Biotech Crop Hectares
Eighteen years since the first commercial planting of biotech crops, and for the second consecutive year since 2012, developing countries planted more biotech crop hectares than industrial countries, producing 54% of the total global production in 2013. Of the 27 countries that planted biotech crops last year, 19 were developing, while only 8 industrial countries planted biotech crops.
More Farmers Are Planting and Replanting Biotech Crops
From 1996 to 2013, millions of farmers in almost 30 countries worldwide, elected to make more than 100 million independent decisions to plant and replant an accumulated hectarage of more than 1.6 billion hectares. In 2013 alone, a record 18 million farmers grew biotech crops, up by 0.7 million from 2012, of which more than 90% or over 16.5 million are small, resource-poor farmers in developing countries.
7.5 million small farmers benefited from biotech cotton, and in
there were 7.3 million beneficiary farmers. In addition to economic gains,
farmers benefited enormously from at least 50% reduction in the number of
insecticide applications, reducing farmer exposure to insecticides, and
importantly contributed to a more sustainable environment and better quality of
|Women farmers rest on a heap of Bt cotton bolls in China.|
|Clean Bt cotton bolls make farmers smile in India.|
The USA is Still the World’s Lead Producer of Biotech Crops
continued its leadership in producing biotech crops in 2013 with 70.1 million
hectares, an average adoption rate of ~90% across all biotech crops. Since
2006, the USA
has planted eight biotech crops, namely: maize, soybean, cotton, canola, sugar beet,
alfalfa, papaya, and squash.
In Africa, continued progress has been made with
Burkina Faso and increasing their Bt cotton
hectarage substantially. In 2013, Sudan ’s biotech hectarage was
marginally less, but practically at the same level as 2012. Encouragingly an
additional seven African countries (Cameroon, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi,
Nigeria and Uganda) have conducted field trials on a broad range of “new”
biotech crops (cotton, maize, bananas, and cowpeas), including several orphan
crops such as sweet potato. South Africa
|A Bt cotton farmer in his field in Burkina Faso.|
Five EU countries, planted a record 148,013 hectares of Bt maize in 2013, with
leading with a record 136,962 hectares of Bt maize. The remaining EU countries
that planted biotech crops in 2013 are Spain Portugal,
Romania, Czech Republic,
and . Slovakia
Contribution of Biotech Crops to Food Security, Sustainability and Climate Change
From 1996 to 2013, biotech crops contributed to Food Security, Sustainability and Climate Change by:
· increasing crop production valued at US$116.9 billion;
· providing a better environment, by saving 497 million kg a.i. of pesticides; in 2012 alone reducing CO2 emissions by 26.7 billion kg, equivalent to taking 11.8 million cars off the road for one year;
· conserving biodiversity in the period 1996-2012 by saving 123 million hectares of land; and
· helped alleviate poverty by helping >16.5 million small farmers, and their families totaling >65 million people, who are some of the poorest people in the world.
The near-term looks optimistic with more modest annual gains expected due to the already high rates of adoption (90% or more) in the principal biotech crops in mature markets in both developing and industrial countries.
approved biotech crop planting in 2013 with plans for commercialization in 2014. Panama
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