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Global farm income up by $27 bn on increased biotech crops

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Mumbai, Feb 26 (UNI) Global farm income has increased by a cumulative total of USD 27 billion following increased adoption of biotech crops since 1996, the International Service for Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications (ISAAA) has said.

India too, has benefitted immensely by using biotech crops with the adoption of insect-resistant cotton, increasing the country's farm income by Rs 558 crore, a release issued by ISAAA here said.

Quoting a global study on the socio-economic and environmental impact of biotech crops, it has pointed out that worldwide insect-resistant cotton has increased farm income by USD 5.7 billion, since its commercialisation.

The greatest gains have been registered by herbicide-tolerant soybeans at more than USD 17 billion in increased income, while that of biotech cotton farmers have improved their income by USD 6.5 billion in the past nine years, the study revealed.

Presently, more than 8.25 million farmers in 18 countries have adopted biotech crops with 90 per cent of these being resource-poor producers located in developing countries.

In addition to the financial benefits, biotech crop adoption also bestows indirect benefits, such as increased management flexibility, facilitating reduced tillage practices, reduced production risk and enhanced crop quality, the release added.

Emphasising the contribution made by biotech crops in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and decreased pesticide spraying, the study said ''biotech crops have reduced the environmental footprint associated with pesticide use by 14 per cent.'' More UNI JJ MJ-GK VKG1115

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