2018 Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops
Sep. 5, 2019
- The top 5 countries with the largest area of biotech crops planted (USA, Brazil, Argentina, Canada, and India) collectively occupied 91% of the global biotech crop area.
- Biotech soybeans reached the highest adoption worldwide, covering 50% of the global biotech crop area.
- The area of biotech crops with stacked traits continued to increase and occupied 42% of the global biotech area.
- Farmers in 10 Latin American countries planted 79.4 million hectares of biotech crops.
- Nine countries in Asia and the Pacific planted 19.13 million hectares of biotech crops.
- In Asia, Indonesia planted for the first time a drought tolerant sugarcane developed through a public (University of Jember) and private (Ajinomoto Ltd.) partnership.
- The Kingdom of eSwatini (formerly Swaziland) joined South Africa and Sudan in planting biotech crops in Africa, with the introduction of IR cotton. Nigeria, Ethiopia, Kenya and Malawi granted approvals for planting IR cotton opening Africa to biotech crop adoption.
- In Europe, Spain and Portugal continued to adopt biotech maize to control European corn borer.
- More area planted to biotech crops for farmer and consumer needs included potatoes with non-bruising, non-browning, reduced acrylamide and late blight resistant traits; non-browning apples; insect resistant eggplant; and low lignin alfalfa, among others.
- New crops and trait combinations in farmer fields include insect resistant and drought tolerant sugarcane; high oleic acid canola and safflower.
- Various food, feed and processing approvals for Golden Rice, Bt rice, herbicide tolerant cotton, low gossypol cotton, among others.
- Cultivation approvals for planting in 2019 include new generation herbicide tolerant cotton and soybean, low gossypol cotton, RR and low lignin alfalfa, omega-3 canola, and IR cowpea, among others.
With the continuously increasing adoption of biotech crops worldwide, farmers are at the forefront of reaping numerous benefits. "We were fed up with weeding and spraying pesticides to control bollworms and weeds. When the technology was introduced, we rapidly picked it up," said Frans Mallela, a farmer from Limpopo Province, South Africa. Le Thanh Hai, one of the early adopters of biotech maize in Vinh Phuc Province, Vietnam, said that biotech maize has helped revive maize farming in their province and stressed that many farmers now grow biotech maize because of its benefits. Rosalie Ellasus, a farmer from Pangasinan, Philippines, said that she adopted Bt maize because she gained more yield with less production cost, compared to conventional maize varieties. “There was not even a trace of pests considering that we did not apply insecticide. Furthermore, we no longer need to visit our maize field every day and this gives us peace of mind,” Ellasus added.
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