Manila, Philippines(February 7, 2012) – Global adoption of biotech crop technology continues at unprecedented rates. During 2011, an additional 12 million hectares were planted representing an annual growth rate of 8 percent over 2010, according to Clive James author of the annual biotech crop report released today by ISAAA (International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications).
“Unprecedented adoption rates are testimony to overwhelming trust and confidence in biotech crops by millions of farmers worldwide,” said James. “Since biotech crop commercialization in 1996, farmers in 29 countries worldwide made more than 100 million decisions to plant and replant more than 1.25 billion hectares – an area of crop land 25 percent larger than the total land mass of the United States or China.”
During 2011, 160 million hectares were planted (up from 148 million in 2010) by 16.7 million farmers in 29 countries, including 19 developing countries and 10 industrial countries. Such adoption represents a 94-fold increase in hectares planted since 1996, making biotech crops the fastest adopted crop technology in recent history.
In developing countries, adoption was twice as fast and twice as large.
Growth rate for biotech crops in developing countries at 11 percent or 8.2 million hectares, during 2011, was twice as fast and twice as large as industrial countries at 5 percent or 3.8 million hectares.
Developing countries grew approximately 50 percent of global biotech crops in 2011 and are expected to exceed industrial country hectarage in 2012. Additionally, more than 90 percent of farmers worldwide (equivalent to over 15 million farmers) are small resource-poor farmers in developing countries, up 8 percent or 1.3 million since 2010, said James.
Marked advancements achieved across the world.
Highlights noted in the report include:
“Engine” for global growth powered by Brazil.
“Brazil has a fast-track approval system and has created three-streams of technology to support growth,” said James. “The model includes: proprietary biotech crops from the private sector adopted on more than 30 million hectares; public/private sector partnerships which has already delivered an approved product; and the capacity to develop and deliver a ‘home-grown’ biotech crop – a virus resistant bean. Collectively, these three streams of technology provide Brazil with a diversified pipeline of new biotech products for the country. This approach is highly effective for Brazil and a key lesson for other countries across the world,” said James.
Insight for future success.
“Three requirements are needed for continued success in biotech crop commercialization,” said James. “First, countries must secure political will and support; second, develop innovative game-changing trait technologies which will have high impact; and third, ensure science-based, time- and cost-effective deregulation, in order to provide farmers new technologies for timely continued growth and productivity.”
Consistent with Bill Gates’ proposal to G20, the ISAAA approach for achieving adoption is based on the three pillars of knowledge-sharing amongst public and private sectors and between industrial and developing countries; innovation; and creative partnerships. ISAAA recommends a three-pronged 3D Strategy, based on timely, efficient and effective Development, Deregulation and Deployment of new biotech crop technologies.
For more information or the executive summary, visit www.isaaa.org.
The report is funded by two European philanthropic organizations: the Bussolera-Branca Foundation from Italy, which supports the open-sharing of knowledge on biotech crops to aid decision-making by global society; and a philanthropic unit within Ibercaja, one of the largest Spanish banks headquartered in the maize growing region of Spain.
The International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) is a not-for-profit organization with an international network of centers designed to contribute to the alleviation of hunger and poverty by sharing knowledge and crop biotechnology applications. Clive James, chairman and founder of ISAAA, has lived and/or worked for the past 30 years in the developing countries of Asia, Latin America and Africa, devoting his efforts to agricultural research and development issues with a focus on crop biotechnology and global food security.
*Information about ISAAA and the author
A not-for-profit public charity, cosponsored by the public and private sectors, working to alleviate poverty in developing countries, by facilitating the sharing of knowledge, and transfer of crop biotechnology applications, to increase crop productivity and income generation, particularly for resource-poor farmers, and to bring about a safer environment and more sustainable agricultural development. ISAAA is a small International Network with a global hub in the Philippines and centers in Nairobi, Kenya, and at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA. Clive James, chairman and founder of ISAAA, has lived and worked for the past 25 years in the developing countries of Asia, Latin America and Africa, devoting his efforts to agricultural research and development issues with a particular focus on crop biotechnology and its contribution to global food security and the alleviation of poverty, hunger and malnutrition.
Further information about ISAAA can be obtained from its website www.isaaa.org. Please contact the ISAAA Center in SouthEast Asia: e-mail email@example.com for your copy of Brief 43. You may purchase a copy on-line at http://www.isaaa.org/purchasepublications/ for US$50. This includes a hard copy of the full version of Brief 43 and Executive Summary. The publication is available free of charge to eligible nationals of developing countries.
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