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Bt Cotton Controversy

Studies conducted to help resolve the debate surrounding the economic benefits of Bt cotton to farmers in India report both positive and negative results. Since its introduction, the acreage under approved Bt cotton in India has increased substantially from 90,000 acres in 2002 to 1.3 million acres in 2004. This study, with the help of a primary survey, explores the paradoxes reported in earlier studies on Indian experience and finds that the technology generates overall economic benefits on average, but heterogeneity among farmers needs to be accounted for. The study also finds that germplasm effects can play an important role.

Transgenic Crops and Developing Countries

The use of biotechnology to grow transgenic crops with specific beneficial traits is being touted as the way ahead to feed the rapidly growing populations in poor countries. However, the drive in agricultural biotechnology is led largely by industrial countries, and particularly by private companies, with possible attendant bottlenecks in the use of such technology by poor countries. This article tries to give a comprehensive overview of the merits and limitations of transgenic crop technologies in a development context.
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