Biotech Updates

Green Gene Technology Reduces Poverty in Developing Countries

September 11, 2009

Advances in genetic engineering should be readily available to the small farmers in the developing world in order for them to reap the benefits of the technology, said a study lead by Martin Qaim. Using extensive data and complex analytical methods of the direct and indirect effects of Bt cotton in India, the authors have shown the impact of growing Bt cotton by more than 5 million small farmers in India. The agronomic benefits increased the income in the rural areas considerably.  A total benefit of almost US$ 2 billion per year was obtained, 60% of which were by households below the poverty line. There are also benefits on increased employment especially for women.

Qaim emphasized however that transfer of these technologies to the small farmers should be thoroughly studied and conducted. "The fact that, the first generation of GM crops already contributed to poverty reduction emphasized the great need for developing countries to recognize its potential", he said. 

The article can be accessed in German at: