Report Shows Biotech Crops Continue to be Favored Globally by Farmers
Washington, D.C. (April 13, 2016) – Millions of farmers around the world have reaped more than US$150 billion in benefits from biotech crops since 1996, according to a new adoption study released today.
The International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications (ISAAA) report, “20th Anniversary of the Global Commercialization of Biotech Crops (1996-2015) and Biotech Crop Highlights in 2015,” details the global adoption of biotech crops. This year’s report showcases the global increase in biotech adoption from 1.7 million hectares (4.2 million acres) in 1996 to 179.7 million hectares (444 million acres) in 2015.
“This 100-fold increase in just 20 years makes biotechnology the fastest adopted crop technology in recent times, reflecting farmer satisfaction with biotech crops,” the report says. Especially beneficial in developing countries, agricultural biotechnology has helped alleviate poverty for up to 16.5 million small farmers and their families annually totaling about 65 million people, who are some of the poorest people in the world.
"In both industrialized and developing countries, agriculture and food production is hindered by invasive pests, disease and the challenges of climate change,” says Brian Baenig, Executive Vice President, Food and Agriculture for the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO). “Biotechnology can provide the tools – including seeds with drought tolerance, insect and disease resistance, herbicide tolerance, and crops with enhanced nutrition.”
“Our world’s farmers and growers need modern technology to help provide for a global population of 9 billion people by 2050. Eighteen million farmers can attest to the environmental and economic benefits they see first-hand with biotech crop varieties,” said Baenig.
Among the report’s highlights:
- Following a remarkable run of 19 years of consecutive growth from 1996 to 2014, with 12 years of double-digit growth, the global hectarage of biotech crops peaked at 181.5 million hectares (448.5 million acres) in 2014, compared with 179.7 million hectares (444 million acres) in 2015, equivalent to a net marginal decrease of 1 percent;
*The International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications (ISAAA) report, “20th Anniversary of the Global Commercialization of Biotech Crops (1996-2015) and Biotech Crop Highlights in 2015,” and accompanying materials are posted at www.isaaa.org.
BIO is the world's largest trade association representing biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world. BIOtechNOW is BIO's blog chronicling “innovations transforming our world” and the BIO Newsletter is the organization’s bi-weekly email newsletter. Subscribe to the BIO Newsletter.