Global biotech crop hectarage increases to over 175 million hectares – report.

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Global biotech crop hectarage increases  to over 175 million hectares – report.



Choma, February 14, 2014, ZANIS – MORE than 18 million farmers in 27 countries are said to have planted biotech crops in the year 2013, reflecting a five million increase in global biotech crop hectorage.


Global biotech crop hectarage is said to have increased from 1.7 million hectares to over 175 million hectares.


This is according to a report released to ZANIS by the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications (ISAAA).


ISAAA says  more than 90 percent or 16.5 million of farmers planting biotech crops are small and resource poor.


“Of the countries planting biotech crops, eight are industrial countries and 19 are developing countries.


“  For the second year, developing countries planted more hectares of biotech crops than industrialised countries, ”  says the report.


The organisation says biotech crops are demonstrating their global value as a tool for resource poor farmers who face decreased water supplies and increased weed and pest pressures and that the effects of climate change will only continue to expand the need for this technology.


ISAAA anticipates that planting of biotech drought-tolerant maize in Africa is expected to commence in 2017 as drought is the biggest constraint to maize production on the continent.


It however notes that the lack of appropriate, science-based, cost- and time-effective regulatory systems continues to be the major constraint to adoption in Africa and across the world.


“Developing countries are continuing to push forward with biotech research/development and commercialization, and have demonstrated the political willpower to approve new biotech crop traits.”