Delhi: India has overtaken China to become the fifth
largest grower of genetically modified (GM) crops by area
to data compiled by the International Service for the
Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications (ISAAA), the
total acreage worldwide under all GM crops crossed the
100-million hectares (mh) mark in 2006.
1996, farmers globally had just 1.7 mh under biotech crops.
In 2006, they planted 102 mh. This sixty-fold increase
in coverage reflects the highest rate of adoption for
any crop technology said Dr Clive James, chairman of ISAAA
while presenting the "Global Status of Commercialised
Biotech/GM Crops: 2006" report here.
to him the number of biotech crop-growing countries went
up to 22 in 2006, from six in 1996 and of the 22 there
are eight countries where acreage exceeded one million
hectares. And the report interestingly shows that there
is not a single European country in this list.
two top European countries by coverage are ranked No.
12 (Romania) and No. 14 (Spain), with just 0.1 mh each.
contrast to this is the US, which accounts for 55 per
cent of the total
area under biotech crops. In India, the entire 3.8 mh
under GM crops is under Bt cotton and it represents 60
per cent of the country''s total 6.3 mh area under cotton