By Edd K. Usman
Published: April 11, 2013
The Philippines is the third biggest earner among the world’s 28 countries that have adopted biotechnology (biotech) or genetically modified (GM) crops.
In the country, when one speaks of GM crops, it is still only Bt corn, the yellow variety of maize.
Still in trial stage in the Philippines and other countries is the so-called Golden Rice, designed to provide rice-eaters with more beta-carotene or Vitamin A.
In the pipeline, too, in the country is Bt eggplant.
So far, there are 375,000 Filipino farmers who are planting Bt corn, which is ranked third in the world.
Since Filipino farmers started adoption of biotech crop in 2003 up to 2011, they gave the Philippines a revenue amounting to US$264.5 million.
At the top of the list in terms of revenue from GM crops is China with US$13 billion (2002 to 2011), and India is second with US$12.6 billion (2002 to 2011).
Considering the number of farmers adopting biotech crops, China and India are at par, each with 7.2 million farmers. In third place is the Philippines.
The figures were based on research done by Filipinos titled “Adoption and Uptake Pathways of GM/Biotech Crops by Small-scale Resource-poor Asian Farmers in China, India, and the Philippines.”
Dr. Randy A. Hautea, global coordinator and director of the Southeast Asia Center of the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA), gave the figures from the study.
He spoke during the April 2-3, 2013 event in Manila called “Adoption of Biotech Crops in the Developing World: Case Studies of Farmers from China, India, and the Philippines.”
Photo courtesy: SEARCA Biotechnology Information Center