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February 14, 2012

Developing countries drive 8% rise in 2011 GM crops uptake, South Africa still leads in Africa

During 2011, an additional 12 million hectares of biotech crops were planted, representing an annual growth rate of 8 percent over 2010, according to Clive James author of the annual biotech crop report released today by ISAAA (International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications).

"Since biotech crop commercialization in 1996, farmers worldwide made more than 100 million decisions to plant and replant more than 1.25 billion hectares - an area of crop land 25 percent larger than the total land mass of the United States or China," said James.

During 2011, 160 million hectares were planted (up from 148 million in 2010) by 16.7 million farmers in 29 countries, including 19 developing countries and 10 industrial countries.

Developing countries leading biotech adoption are South Africa, Brazil, Argentina, China and India. Together they represent 40 percent of the global population. Growth rate for biotech crops in developing countries at 11 percent or 8.2 million hectares, during 2011, was twice as fast and twice as large as industrial countries at 5 percent or 3.8 million hectares.

Developing countries grew approximately 50 percent of global biotech crops in 2011 and are expected to exceed industrial country hectarage in 2012. Additionally, more than 90 percent of farmers worldwide (equivalent to over 15 million farmers) are small resource-poor farmers in developing countries, up 8 percent or 1.3 million since 2010, said James.

Africa planted 2.5 million hectares of biotech crops, and is making advancements with field trials in the regulatory process for additional biotech crop countries and crops.

African Agriculture

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