ISAAA's Annual Global Status Report Launched in Beijing, China
The Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops for 2009 was recently launched in Beijing, China, which was dedicated to the late Nobel Peace Laureate Norman Borlaug and the first founding patron of the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA). Dr. Clive James, author of the Report and ISAAA chair, highlighted the increase of 7% or 9 million hectares of biotech crops grown in 2009 over 2008. An increase of 14 million small and large farmers in 25 countries was also recorded to be planted in 134 million hectares. Costa Rica joined the 16 developing and 9 developed countries which are planting biotech crops. He stressed the importance of biotech crops in strategies to alleviate poverty, hunger and malnutrition.
The recent issuance of biosafety certicates for Bt rice and phytase maize in China was also emphasized and are expected to significantly impact the poor and hungry countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America, since rice is an important staple and corn, the primary feed for livestock and poultry. The events also highlighted presentations from Dr. Dafang Huang, a professor of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences on phytase maize and Dr. Ruifa Hu on Bt rice and Bt cotton. Farmer Mr. Zu Mao Tang shared his experience on planting Bt cotton.
This article is part of the Crop Biotech Update, a weekly summary of world developments in agri-biotech for developing countries, produced by the Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology, International Service for the Aquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications SEAsiaCenter (ISAAA)