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Crop Biotech Update

Biotechnology in Mexico, Important in Increasing Yield and Reducing Pesticide Usage

August 24, 2012

The Confederation of Mexican Cotton Association (CMCA) believes that biotechnology is an important tool in increasing yields and reducing pesticide usage in Mexico. In the USDA FAS GAIN Report, the Association has documented that pesticide application dropped by over 50 percent due to use of GM seeds and yields have increased significantly. It is estimated by industry sources that for marketing year 2011/12, 85 percent of the total area planted used GM seeds with an average yield of 8.55 bales per hectare compared to the 7.24 bales/ha of conventional hybrids.

However in November 2011, the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources submitted a draft agreement including a map delineating the centers of origin and centers of corn genetic diversity in Mexico. Approval of this agreement could jeopardize GM corn production in the country. Even so, the government of Mexico has approved 253,000 hectares of GM soybean for commercial cultivation in June 2012.

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