News & Press: ETS Info

Global Adoption of Biotech Crops Continues

Monday, April 28, 2014  
Posted by: Jonathan Loeb

The global adoption of biotech crops continued with new products and increased area planted in 2013, according to a report issued by the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotoech Applications (ISAAA) earlier this year.

New biotech crops were introduced in 2013, including drought-resistant maize planted for the first time by approximately 2,000 farmers on 50,000 hectares in the United States. In addition, Indonesia developed and approved planting of the world’s first drought-tolerant sugarcane in 2013 and plans to commercialize it for planting this year.

“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 the effects of climate change will only continue to expand the need for this technology,” said Clive James, the report’s author.

The number of hectares, globally, planted to biotechnology-derived crops continued to increase in 2013 to over 175 million hectares. This number represents a hundredfold increase in hectares since 1996 when biotech crops were first planted on 1.7 million hectares.

Developing countries continued to plant a greater number of hectares to biotech crops than industrialized countries, with 54 percent of the global total in 2013. This was the second year that plantings in developing countries outpaced those in industrialized countries.

Brazil led the world in rate of adoption with an increase of 3.7 million hectares (10 percent) over 2012 levels. The United States continues to plant the largest numbers of hectares to biotech crops at 70.1 million hectares, representing an average of 90 percent adoption across all crops.


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