Biotechnology has delivered a substantial increase in farm income while providing substantial benefits to both farmers and citizens. That’s the take-away from a new study from United Kingdom-based PG Economics – “GM crops: global socio-economic and environmental impacts 1996-2011.”
DNA The study also says crop biotechnology was responsible for producing an additional 110 million tons of soybeans and 195 million tons of corn from 1996 to 2011.
“Where farmers have been given the choice of growing GM crops, adoption levels have typically been rapid. Why? The economic benefits farmers realize are clear and amounted to an average of over $130/hectare in 2011,” says Graham Brookes, director of PG Economics, and co-author of the report.
“The majority of these benefits continue to increasingly go to farmers in developing countries. The environment is also benefiting as farmers increasingly adopt conservation tillage practices, build their weed management practices around more benign herbicides and replace insecticide use with insect resistant GM crops. The reduction in pesticide spraying and the switch to no till cropping systems is continuing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture,” Brookes says.