Crop Biotechnology Benefits Both Farmers and the Environment
Friday, May 22, 2015
By: Scott Kohne, Head of Market Acceptance, Bayer CropScience North America
Crop biotechnology provides farmers economic and environmental benefits - especially those in developing countries. The PG Economics report “GM Crops: Global Socio-Economic and Environmental Impacts 1996-2013
,” proves that crop biotechnology has provided more productive agriculture, higher incomes to farmers, and a better environment for citizens.
More Productive Agriculture
Key findings show that GM crops contributed to global food security in the last 18 years. This technology was responsible for an additional 138 tonnes of soybeans and 275 tonnes of corn from 1996-2013. Insect resistant technology has led to 11.7% more corn, 17% more cotton and 10% more soybeans due to reduced pest damage during this time period.
Biotechnology also allows farmers to grow more without using additional land. If crop biotechnology was not available to the 18 million farmers using it, they would have to use the equivalent of 11% of the arable land in the U.S. to maintain global production levels.
Higher Income to Farmers
GM crops are not only providing benefits through increased production and higher yields, but they are helping farmers earn reasonable incomes through high returns on investment. The report states, “Farmers in developing countries received $4.22 for each dollar invested in GM crop seeds in 2013, while farmers in developed countries received $3.88 for each dollar in GM crop seed.”
Better Environment for Citizens
These findings regarding the positive impact to the environment are especially noteworthy. A significant reduction in the release of greenhouse gas emission from agricultural practices can be contributed to “less fuel use and additional soil carbon storage from reduced tillage with GM crops.”
With significant economic and environmental benefits for farmers who use genetically modified seeds – it is clear that crop biotechnology is an important field for innovation. Bayer CropScience is proud to devote research and development to improve crop biotechnology in order to feed a hungry planet and leave a better world.
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