Burkina Faso in West Africa has had a tremendous success with Bt cotton. Yields and farmers’ incomes have risen, chemical use is down, and cotton and cottonseed oil have become major exports. Burkina’s neighbors are beginning to take note.
In December, delegations from neighboring Benin and Togo visited Burkina at the invitation of the biosecurity experts network of NEPAD, the New Partnership for African Development. Participants included farmers, government officials, members of parliament, and textile industry representatives. Their mission: see first hand the impact of Bt cotton in Burkina Faso as a first step towards the eventual adoption of policies … Full Article »
A report from Voice of America caught our attention this week: “Farmers Benefit from Insect-Killing Cotton.” It was a report that said researchers had determined that farmers in India using insect-resistant cotton had 24 percent high yields and 50 percent higher profits than those who didn’t.
The article simply cited a “new study.” We clicked on that link, and found ourselves at PNAS.org – the web site for the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The specific link was to an abstract of the study by two researchers at the Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development … Full Article »
Suicide is a difficult subject to discuss, as many of us are likely to know someone who’s taken their own life. This is a particularly emotional topic, and I hope to show due respect and sensitivity for those affected by such a tragedy.
Unfortunately, there have been some sensational allegations lately about farmer suicide rates in India. Speculative reports spawned mostly by anti-GMO groups–not pro-farming groups–have implied that these tragic farmer suicides have somehow become an epidemic since the introduction of biotech cotton in 2002. This is simply not true. The activists’ reports largely ignore many complex cultural, environmental … Full Article »