Crop Biotech Update

Portuguese Farmers Call for Innovative Agricultural Technologies

October 14, 2011

Portuguese farmers attending a study tour in their country expressed the need for more innovative agricultural technologies so that they can remain competitive in the food market. Farmers have been growing almost 60% more genetically modified maize in 2011 compared to last year.

"I have planted GM maize since 2006, and I adopted it because I saw results- healthier plants due to less insect damage, a better harvest and better grain quality," said João Grilo, a Portuguese farmer based in Vale do Mondego, Coimbra.

Pedro Fevereiro, investigator and professor of Plant Cell Biotechnology and President of Centre for Biotechnology Information (CiB Portugal), averred that the agricultural scene will "witness important climatic changes, which will be followed by abiotic and biotic stresses, to be withstood by the different crops, especially in the Mediterranean area. Genetically modified cultivars are one of the already available technologies to cope with the difficulties to be faced."

Fevereiro added that "these benefits are being experienced and accumulated all over the world for more than fifteen years. It is time for the European farmers to profit from this technology."

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