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Low biotech adoption hits Brazil cotton farmers

The low adoption of biotechnology among Brazilian cotton farmers has been the major factor impacting on the profitability of the sector, according to a national farmers’ association study. The GM cotton area covered 500,000 ha last year ( Agrow No 538, p 19) out of a total area for the fibre of 1.2 million ha. The Brazil cotton producers’ association, the Abrapa, says that Brazil’s 160,000 cotton farmers have spent around R$2,000 million ($1,174 million) more over the past year than they would have, had they adopted genetically modified cotton. Brazil’s authorities approved the sale of Monsanto’s GM insect-resistant Bollgard cotton in 2005 for the 2007 planting season. The use of the technology would result in savings of $237/ ha, the study found.

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