Mr Graham Brookes, Director, PG Economics said, “If crop biotechnology had not been available to the (15.4 million) farmers using the technology in 2010, maintaining global production levels at the 2010 levels would have required additional plantings of 5.1 million hectares of soybeans, 5.6 million hectares of corn, 3 million hectares of cotton and 0.35 million hectares of canola.” He further added, “This total area requirement is equivalent to 8.6% of the arable land in the US, 23% of the arable land in Brazil or 25% of the cereal area in the European Union (EU).”
Mr Vijaya Raghavan, CEO – Satguru – Cornell Foundation pointed out the rapid adoption of GM crops in other Asian countries like Philippines, Indonesia, etc and suggested India emulate their examples. Dr V Ram Kaundinya, Chairman, ABLE –AB added that the acreage of Bt cotton in India has increased from 50,000 hectares in 2002 to 10.6 million hectares in 2011, representing a 212 fold increase that allowed Indian farmers to earn an additional US$ 9.4 billion.
Dr Seetharama highlighted that the Meeting of Parties (MOP 6) to the Cartagena Protocol scheduled to be held in Hyderabad from October 1-5, 2012 will play an important role in deciding the future of plant biotechnology in the country.
About PG Economics: PG Economics Limited is a specialist provider of advisory and consultancy services to agriculture and other natural resource-based industries. Our specific areas of specialisation are plant biotechnology, agricultural production systems, agricultural markets and policy. The Company's two directors are Peter Barfoot and Graham Brookes who formed PG Economics in 1999. Both have worked at senior positions in agricultural consultancy and technology businesses.
About ABLE AG: The Association of Biotech Led Enterprises – Agriculture Group (ABLE AG) is a body consisting of India’s leading agriculture biotechnology companies. ABLE AG aims to generate a symbiotic interface between the Government, industry, farmers, academia, research institutions, investors and civil societies. The group is dedicated to accelerating the pace of plant biotechnology in the country through strategic alliances between researchers, government agencies, farmers and the global biotech community.