Dec. 6, 2016
Over the last 20 years, genetically modified crops represented a gross yield worth US$162.9 billion to Argentina’s economy, creating 2,052,922 direct and indirect jobs. These data were published in a study authored by Dr. Eduardo Trigo for the Argentine Council for Information and Development of Biotechnology (ArgenBio).
The year 1996 marked the introduction of soybeans tolerant to the glyphosate herbicide in Argentina. Since then, the country has become the third largest consumer of genetically modified seeds, covering 24.5 million hectares in the 2015/2016 period.
The yields, according to the study, were divided into a proportion of 66% for the production sector, 8% for the suppliers of technology such as seeds and herbicides, and 26% for the government through taxes on domestic and international sales.
The study highlighted the importance of maintaining biotechnology as a state policy due to the increasing demand for technological solutions to threats faced by agricultural production. According to the author, the challenge is to create institutional conditions for these technologies that are available to everyone. To achieve this goal, respect for intellectual property rights is fundamental. The framework for development must be solid and based on science as well as effective international negotiations.
Gains by crop
In the case of soybeans tolerant to glyphosate, the crop earned $118.3 billion, equivalent to 25% of the GDP in 2015. Of this amount, 65.9% was earned by the production sector, 27.4% by the state, and 6.7% by the technology suppliers.
In the case of corn, technologies resistant to insects and tolerant to herbicides contributed a total of $5.1 billion, of which 45.2% came from producers, 17.7% from the state, and 31.1% from the technology suppliers (mostly for seeds).
Finally, cotton resistant to insects and tolerant to herbicides earned $3.1 billion, mostly from producers (95.09%) and providers of technologies (seeds and herbicides; 4.91%).
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