Crop Biotech Update

Demonstration Days on Cotton BG II in Burkina Faso

November 4, 2011

The Burkinabè textile company (SOFITEX), the Institute for Environment and Agricultural Research (INERA) and Monsanto completed a three-day cotton field demonstration and sensitization workshop for cotton farmers. The field demonstrations were held from 19 to 21 October 2011 in Western part of Burkina Faso in Natéma ,Sangoulema and Boni villages.

Five days later, on October 26, the 212 farmers out of 281 participants of the western region proceeded to the southern central region of the country in Tiakané village to visit model fields of Bollgard II (BGII) and to be sensitized on good stewardship practices. They were briefed on the need to observe the required refuge distance between GM and non-GM cotton, in order to maximize the benefits of Bt technology, while avoiding cotton pest resistance. The tour afforded them to interact with fellow farmers, researchers and representatives of the private sector. They were advised on best agronomic practices for Bt cotton and appreciated the potential of potassium chloride (KCL) fertilizer to improve cotton yield and seed quality.

Taking advantage of the presence of the technology developers, farmers inquired if it was possible to review the cost of the transgenic seed. The Monsanto representative for West Africa, Dr. Traoré Doulaye assured them that Monsanto is currently negotiating with its Burkina Faso counterparts for seed price reduction.

For more information contact Dr. Doulaye Traoré, Corporate & Regulatory Affairs Manager Monsanto West Africa, at doulaye.traoré@monsanto.com and Cyr Payim Ouédraogo president of RECOAB Burkina and senior reporter at l'Observaeur Paalga newspaper at cyrpayim@hotmail.com.