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Crop Biotech Update

Risk and Benefits of Adopting Bt Cotton in WA

September 28, 2007

Cotton is the largest source of export receipts of most West African countries. Because of significant reduction in cotton yields and increasing tendency in pesticide use, as recorded in the past few years, there appear to be potential payoffs from the use of biotechnology products in the farming systems of the region. A new study published by the International Food Policy Research Institute estimated different scenarios for the potential deployment of insect resistant biotech cotton is countries in West Africa like Burkina Faso, Benin, Mali and Chad.

Results show that the total net benefits of adopting Bt cotton seem to be small. Nevertheless, the analysis also showed that the countries included in the evaluation are worse off if they decide not to adopt Bt cotton. The study may provide tools and information that can be used to build greater confidence in the process of setting agricultural research investment priorities.

Read the full paper at