Crop Biotech Update

Ethiopia to Commercialize Bt Cotton in Two Years

December 1, 2016

Ethiopia is ready to commercialize Bt cotton in two years, according to Dr. Endale Gebre, director of the agricultural biotechnology unit in the Ethiopian Agricultural Research Institute. He explained that the confined field trial of Bt cotton in their country is currently in the final stage. The trials have been conducted for four years, testing four varieties of Bt cotton from India and Sudan. He added that the results of the field trial will determine the impact of Bt cotton on yield, bollworm infestation, herbicide-use, and other farm inputs.

Gebre also explained that Bt cotton has been criticized for about two decades. However, Bt cotton has been widely used in India, particularly by 95 percent of the smallholder farmers. This implies that Bt cotton could also bring positive benefits not just to Ethiopian farmers, but also to their economy in general. Gebre was part of the African delegation who visited Bt cotton farms in India in November 2016.

Read the original article in Africa Business Communities.