17 Apr 2009

Biotech crops' global value reaches $7.5 billion

The global market value of biotechnology crops reached $7.5 billion in 2008, up from $6.9 billion in 2007.

Last year’s $7.5 billion represented 14 percent Dr. Clive James, founder and current board chairman of the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA).

New York (USA)-based ISAAA is a not-for-profit organization with an international network of centers designed to contribute to the alleviation of hunger and poverty by sharing knowledge and crop biotechnology applications.

The network includes the Southeast Asia Center based in Los Baños, Laguna, headed by Dr. Randy Hautea, currently ISAAA global coordinator and former director of the University of the Philippines Los Baños-Institute of Plant Breeding (UPLB-IPB).

Dr. James’ report, titled “Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops: 2008”, was presented by Dr. Hautea and former UP president Dr. Emil Q. Javier at a media forum last Feb. 12 at the Richmonde Hotel in Pasig City.

In his report, the Welsh-born research administrator projected that the global value of the biotech crop market for 2009 is approximately $8.3 billion.

Of the genetically modified (GM) crops produced in 2008, biotech maize constituted the biggest chunk of the global biotech market – $3.6 billion or 48 percent.

It was followed by soybean, $2.8 billion (37 percent); cotton, $0.9 billion (12 percent); and canola, $0.2 billion (three percent).

The other biotech crops raised in 2008 in 25 countries were papaya, squash, tomato, sweet pepper, alfalfa, poplar, petunia, carnation, and sugar beet.


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