Thursday, March 11, 2010

Map of Biotech Crop Production Around the World

Reason Magazine links to an International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications report on the worldwide production of biotech crops. The report is full of good news dealing with food production including

As a result of consistent and substantial, crop productivity, economic, environmental and welfare benefits, a record 14 million small and large farmers in 25 countries planted 134 million hectares (330 million acres) in 2009, an increase of 7 percent or 9 million hectares (22 million acres) over 2008….

Record hectarages were reported for all four major biotech crops. For the first time, biotech soybean occupied more than three-quarters of the 90 million hectares of soybean globally, biotech cotton almost half of the 33 million hectares of global cotton, biotech maize over one-quarter of the 158 million hectares of global maize and biotech canola more than one-fifth of the 31 million hectares of global canola….

Notably, almost half (46 percent) of the global hectarage was planted by developing countries, expected to take the lead from industrial countries before 2015,…

Remarkably, of the 14 million beneficiary farmers, 90 percent or 13 million were small resource- poor farmers. These farmers are already benefiting from biotech crops like Bt [pest-resistant] cotton, and have enormous future potential with crops such as biotech rice, to be commercialized in the near term.

Quick notes: Right now the United States grows the plurality of biotech crops with forty-some percent of biotech cropland being in America. Brazil and Argentina are advancing South America's agriculture exports with higher yield biotech crops. Finally, while India's production of biotech crops is still low, it is growing and biotech foods should help with a potential food crisis much like the Green Revolution saved Latin America.

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