Agribiotech Applications

Biotechnology is one of those technologies in which we cannot afford to do without, and their rapid adoption in developing countries is a sample of this and how it is contributing to increase the yields of crops in a sustainable way. Million dollar remaining were large farmers in industrialized countries such as the United States and Canada or emerging countries such as Argentina and Brazil. According to the report global situation of the commercialization of Biotech/GM crops in 2009 produced by Clive James, founder of the ISAAA (International Service for the Acquisition of Agribiotech Applications) and Chairman of the Board of Directors, those 13 million small poor farmers (most of Bt cotton-producing) around the world, 7 million live in China (cotton BT), 5.6 million in India (Bt cotton) and the 250,000 remaining in Philippines (biotech corn), South Africa (cotton, maize and soybean biotechnology often cultivated by women who practice subsistence agriculture) and other twelve developing countries that produce biotech crops. The greatest increase in the number of agrobiotecnologicos producers were recorded in India, where currently 600,000 small farmers have swelled the list of producers of the variant Bt cotton, which now represents 87% of all cotton, compared with 80% in 2009 from 2008. In the period 2002 to 2008 cotton Bt generated a profit of 5.1 billion dollars in India, halved the need for insecticide treatments, contributing to double crop yields and converting India from being a net importer of cotton to being a net exporter. The ISAAA report stresses that the largest income generating biotech crops for small poor farmers assumed a modest initial contribution to alleviate their poverty.

During the second decade of commercialization (2006-2015), biotech crops can be of great help to meet the Millennium development goal (MDG) of reducing poverty by half in 2015 horizon?, points out. According to Clive Jame in China, early studies indicate that another 10 million small poor farmers in that country could be secondary beneficiaries of Bt cotton, as day laborers for example. It is estimated that during the first twelve years of commercialization, biotech crops accounted for a net profit of 44 billion dollars worldwide. Since 2008, seven hundred thousand farmers went to swell the figure of agrobiotecnologicos producers until it is in 14 million in 2009, 90% of whom (13 million) are small resource-poor farmers in developing countries. This figure represents an increase of 700,000 producers compared to 2008. In short, while it is a fact some of this crop, its alcanc, impact, there are still those who point out, that the greatest threat of the applications of genetic engineering in agriculture is the disappearance of peasant agriculture adapted to the environment and biodiversity associated with this type of agriculture. In effect it says, one of the biggest problems humanity is facing, is the erosion of traditional knowledge and biological diversity, base of ecological balance and sustainable agriculture. Periods of extreme drought, heavy rains and other consequences of climate change, as well as the threat of new epidemics as which caused bird flu, make today more necessary that never conserve biodiversity – both wild and farm – and knowledge about its handling.

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