Transgenic cotton has made life better for Indian farmers
A recent study by ISAA International Service for the acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications proofs that especially small scale Indian farmers do benefit from Bt cotton
The study covers the period after the first introduction in the year of 2002 up to 2010 and looks also at socio economic effects and how the new cotton crop changed agriculture in India in general. Some facts were already clear before, namely increasing yield and decreasing use of insecticide, better and more secure income for 6.3 million farmers. The annual global review estimates that India’s enhanced Bt cotton farmer income grew from 2002 to 2009 by USD 7.0 billion and solely in 2009 by USD 1.9 billion. The typical yield gains are around 31 %, the reduction of insecticides settles at 39% less and all factors do lead to an 88 % increase of profits those equal to USD 250 per hectare. In general the total cost for the Bt crop might be around 17% higher in comparison to conventional cotton crop but higher yields and savings make more than up for that. Currently the share of genetically modified cotton seed in India amounts to 86 % with a continuous increase over the last years and the yield was 175 kg/ha in 2000/01 and 496 kg/ha in the season 2010/11.