The International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications (ISAAA) released an educational cartoon designed to enhance understanding of GM crops. Mandy & Fanny: The Future of Sustainable Agriculture is the first educational cartoon of its kind developed by ISAAA to illustrate the rapid adoption of biotech crops and their role in increasing income for farmers worldwide. The educational cartoon publication is authored by Bhagirath Choudhary and Kadambini Gaur, representatives of ISAAA in India, and illustrated by Irfan Khan, a renowned cartoonist in India. Check out the cartoon.
Women farmers in Africa face regulatory hurdles to agricultural technology and training
A BBC News article discusses female farmers in Africa who call on policy makers to increase women’s access to training, science and technology for agriculture.
Women grow as much as 90% of the food in sub-Saharan Africa, yet they have access to just 5% of resources including information, training and farm inputs, which are mostly provided to men. According to Lindiwe Majele Sibanda, a farmer in Zimbabwe, “A major stumbling block is the lack of cohesion and communication, between the policy makers in the relevant government departments.” Read more.
The International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications (ISAAA) released its annual report on the global status of commercialized biotech crops in 2010. The ISAAA report discusses major developments impacting biotech crop adoption, including this year’s record amount of hectarage dedicated to biotech crops and landmark decisions by Pakistan, Myanmar and Sweden to approve the planting of the crops.
Take a look at the full ISAAA report and charts to learn about the 29 countries that have adopted biotech crops since they were first planted 15 years ago and the growth of agricultural biotechnology in the United States and worldwide.
Some highlights from the 2010 ISAAA report include:
Biotech crops occupy about 10% or 1.5 billion hectares (3.7 billion acres) of total global cropland- up significantly from 7% or 134 millionhectares (331 million acres) in 2009.
The number of countries planting biotech crops increased to 29, up from 25 in 2009, with for the first time two struggling economies Pakistan and Myanmar planting biotech cotton to improve food security, and the first Scandinavian adopter Sweden planting a high-quality biotech starch potato.
The United States remained by far the largest grower of biotech crops, with 66.8 million hectares (165 million acres) planted in 2010, up 4 percent from 2009.
Developing countries increased their share of global biotech crops to almost 48% in 2010, and are expected to exceed developed countries in the future.
The use of genetically modified seeds grew the fastest in Brazil, with a 4 million hectare increase from 2009.
Biotech soybean continued to be the dominant crop in 2010, occupying 73.3 million hectares or 50% of global biotech area,followed by biotech maize at 31%, biotech cotton at 14%, and biotech canola with 5% of the global biotech crop area.
Since 1996, a total of 59 countries have granted regulatory approvals for biotech crops for import for food and feed use and for release into theenvironment.
About 12 countries are expected to adopt biotech crops for the first time between 2011 and 2015, bringing the total number of countries adopting biotech crops to approximately 40 in 2015.
ISAAA, the organization that releases the yearly reports about the global state of agricultural biotechnology, has produced six short videos featuring the organization’s founder and chair, Dr. Clive James, discussing the latest developments and significant achievements in ag biotech. The videos are dedicated to the late Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Dr. Norman Borlaug. All videos are available for streaming and download.
Below is the first of the six videos, titled, “The Norman Borlaug Legacy.” The rest of the videos can be viewed here. Enjoy!
The International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) released its annual report on the global status of commercialized biotech crops in 2009. In addition to sharing the state of agricultural biotechnology worldwide, the ISAAA report discusses major developments impacting biotech crop adoption, including China’s landmark decision to approve biotech rice and phytase maize and a future with drought tolerant crops and golden rice.
Please see the charts from the ISAAA report to learn about the 25 countries that have adopted biotech crops and the growth of agricultural biotechnology in the United States and worldwide.
Below are some highlights from the latest ISAAA report:
Small and large farmers in 25 countries planted 134 million hectares (330 million acres) in 2009, an increase of 7 percent or 9 million hectares (22 million acres) over 2008.
In 2009, the number of biotech famers worldwide increased by .07 million to 14.0 million, 90% of those were small and resource-poor farmers in developing countries.
For the first time, biotech soybean occupied more than three-quarters of the 90 million hectares of soybean globally, biotech cotton almost half of the 33 million hectares of global cotton, biotech maize over one-quarter of the 158 million hectares of global maize and biotech canola more than one-fifth of the 31 million hectares of global canola.
Developing countries increased their share of global biotech crops to almost 50% in 2009, and are expected to their increase biotech hectarage in the future.
In 2009, Brazil narrowly displaced Argentina to become the second largest grower of biotech crops globally.
While 25 countries planted commercialized biotech crops in 2009, an additional 32 countries, totaling 57, have granted regulatory approvals for biotech crops for import for food and feed use and release into the environment since 1996.
India’s biotechnology regulators, the Genetically Engineering Appraisal Committee, approved the use of BT eggplants today. The committee will make their recommendation to the Indian government, and with the approval of Parliament, BT eggplants will provide the first biotech vegetables to be produced on local farms. These eggplants are engineered to provide resistance to a devastating natural pest known as the shoot borer, potentially increasing yields by 40%.
“This is fantastic news,” said said Rajeesh Kumar, a vegetable farmer from Swarnapuri, India and a participant in the Global Farmer-to-Farmer Roundtable at the World Food Prize Symposium. “Crop failure has been a problem for many farmers, who often borrow huge sums of money in order to plant. Biotech crops like these eggplant decrease crop failures and we need more technology to come soon.”
To read more about the Appraisal Committee’s decision, click here.
To learn more about the importance of eggplant production to India and Southeast Asia (28% of total vegetable volume), you can read The International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) report on BT eggplant here.