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Global biotech area surges past 100 mn hectares

Feb '07
(ISAAA) published their yearly report on the status of biotech crops worldwide. At the beginning of the second decade of biotech crop adoption, biotech crop area jumped 12 million hectares or 13 percent to reach 102 million hectares, breaking the 100 million- hectare mark for the first time and achieving the second highest growth in the past 5 years.

From the genesis of commercialization in 1996, to 2006, herbicide tolerance has consistently been the dominant trait followed by insect resistance and stacked genes for the two traits. In 2006, herbicide tolerance, deployed in soybean, maize, canola, cotton and alfalfa occupied 68% or 69.9 million hectares of the global biotech 102 million hectares.

Biotech soybean continued to be the principal biotech crop in 2006, occupying 58.6 million hectares (57% of global biotech area), followed by maize (25.2 million hectares at 25%), cotton (13.4 million hectares at 13%) and canola (4.8 million hectares at 5% of global biotech crop area).By 2015 the ISAAA predict more than 20 million farmers will plant 200 million hectares of biotech crops in about 40 countries.

“More than 90 percent or 9.3 million farmers growing biotech crops last year were small, resource-poor farmers from the developing world,” Clive James from ISAAA said. “In fact, the report indicated that the growth of biotech crop adoption was substantially higher in the developing world at 21 percent versus the industrialized nations where adoption grew 9 percent.

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