Biotech Updates

Variety Market Development: A Bt Cotton Cropping Factor and Constraint in China

September 23, 2011

Bt cotton varieties have been planted in China starting 1997 to eliminate some pests that affect the growth and yield of cotton. At present, it is estimated that about 70% of the total cotton-producing areas are devoted to Bt cotton.

In a study conducted by Michel Fok of Agricultural Research for Development (CIRAD) in France and Naiyin Xu of Jiangsu Academy of Agricultural Sciences in China, it was shown that Bt cotton use in China is influenced by the development of the cotton variety market. Bt cotton adoption has benefited from the development of the variety market facilitated by a favorable legal framework since the mid-1990s. However, quality uncertainties and high seed prices may affect the profitability and continued use of Bt cotton as well as development of the variety market. In 2007, a quality seed subsidy policy was launched to solve the problems in the variety and seed market, however many are still questioning the efficacy of this new regulation.

The research article is available at