According to the ISAAA report for 2012, farmers around the world continue to enthusiastically embrace and adopt genetically engineered (GE) crops because of their tremendous environmental and economic benefits and contribution to food security.
Since the introduction of agricultural biotechnology in 1996, the global adoption of biotech crops continues to rise with new countries realizing the benefits, according to a report by the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA). Last year marked an unprecedented 100-fold increase in land planted in biotech crops since they were first commercialized in 1996. In 2012, biotech crop area grew six percent -- by 10.3 million hectares (25.5 million acres) -- to reach 170.3 million hectares (420.8 million acres).
A record 17.3 million farmers in 28 countries are using agricultural biotechnology. Ninety percent (more than 15 million) of these are resource-poor smallholders in developing countries.
The International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications (ISAAA) report provides detailed biotech crop adoption statistics around the world. ISAAA has been tracking global biotech crop adoption trends since the technology’s inception in 1996. The report is prepared and presented by Dr. Clive James, Chair of the ISAAA Board of Directors.
ISAAA is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to share knowledge on crop biotechnology so that the global community is more informed about the attributes and potential of the new technologies.
KEY FINDINGS OF THE REPORT
In 2012, global biotech acreage grew to 420.8 million acres (170.3 million hectares), up from 395 million acres (160 million hectares) in 2011.
In 2012, biotech crops were grown in 28 countries. It is noteworthy that 20 of these countries were in the developing world, and 8 were industrialized countries.
For the first time ever, developing countries grew a greater share of biotech crops worldwide than developed countries: 52 percent of global biotech crops, compared to 48 percent in industrial countries. The growth rate for biotech crops in developing countries (11 percent or 21 million acres) was at least three times as fast, and five times as large as in industrial countries (3 percent or 4 million acres).
In 2012, biotech crops were grown by 17.3 million farmers, up from 16.7 million in 2011.
Just 17 years after commercialization, accumulated biotech crops exceeded 1.5 billion hectares (3.7 billion acres) in 2012. This covers an area 50 percent larger than the total land mass of the United States or China.
The top five developing countries are China, India, Brazil, Argentina and South Africa.
Collectively they grew 78.2 million hectares, 46 percent of global biotech crops, and together they represent about 40 percent of the global population.
Africa continued to make progress in 2012 with South Africa increasing its biotech area by a record 0.6 million hectares (1.5 million acres) to reach 2.9 million hectares (7.1 million acres). Sudan joined South Africa, Burkina Faso and Egypt in planting biotech crops, bringing the total number of African biotech countries to four.