Agricultural biotechnology in
Europe: benefits and issues


       20 September 2005
        Graham Brookes
          PG E...
Presentation coverage

Current status of agricultural biotechnology use in
Europe
Why do farmers use the technology?
Issue...
Biotech crop plantings Europe
         Country                 Crop            2004-05 (hectares)        Comments
Spain   ...
Main commercial biotech crops: 2004

Insect resistant (IR) maize in Spain:
since 1998
Herbicide tolerant (HT) soy in Roman...
Why do farmers use the technology:
     GM IR maize in Spain?
GM IR maize targets main corn pest in Spain
(corn borer) – c...
GM IR corn in Spain 2004
Why do farmers use the technology:
  GM HT soybeans in Romania
Addresses weed problems effectively
Weeds = main problem af...
Farm level of GM crops in Europe
                          Average      Range


Spain: yield impact       +6.3%     +1% to...
National level impact of GM crop use

Million Euros     2004    Cumulative     Value added as
                           s...
Other impacts
Insurance benefit: a production risk management
tool
Convenience benefit: less time crop walking/spraying
Sm...
Conclusion on farm level impact
Benefit varies with level of pest & weed problems = varies by
region and year
Offers subst...
Why limited adoption in Europe?
Lack of trait approval for planting: only GM IR (bt)
maize so far approved & few traits no...
Why limited use in Europe: co-
             existence
Co-existence rules: supposed to allow farmers
freedom to choose meth...
Why limited use in Europe: non GM
             demand
Demand for non GM products: perception that
this dominates = influen...
What is Europe missing out on?
Economic benefits = important for competitiveness
of agriculture & food industry in Europe ...
The future

Ag biotech likely to be embraced slowly in
Europe
Currently-next 5 years: Europe loses out
economically & envi...
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monsanto 09-20-05

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monsanto 09-20-05

  1. 1. Agricultural biotechnology in Europe: benefits and issues 20 September 2005 Graham Brookes PG Economics
  2. 2. Presentation coverage Current status of agricultural biotechnology use in Europe Why do farmers use the technology? Issues affecting current adoption Implications of ignoring agricultural biotechnology in Europe Copies of various research papers on these issues available on www.pgeconomics.co.uk
  3. 3. Biotech crop plantings Europe Country Crop 2004-05 (hectares) Comments Spain IR Grain maize 58,100 (2004) 48,000 ha 2005 (decrease due to drought: fall in total maize plantings) Portugal IR Grain maize 780 (2005) 1st year 2005 Germany IR Grain maize 300-500 (2005) Pre-commercialisation only Czech Republic IR Grain maize 300 (2005) 1st year 2005 France IR Grain maize 500 (2005) Romania HT Soybeans 70,000 (2004) IR = insect resistant, HT = herbicide tolerant
  4. 4. Main commercial biotech crops: 2004 Insect resistant (IR) maize in Spain: since 1998 Herbicide tolerant (HT) soy in Romania: since 1999 2004: 58,000 ha Spain (12% of crop), 70,000 ha Romania (58% of crop)
  5. 5. Why do farmers use the technology: GM IR maize in Spain? GM IR maize targets main corn pest in Spain (corn borer) – causes economic damage to 25-30% of crop area Corn borer incidence varies by region and year – affected by climate/weather and planting times
  6. 6. GM IR corn in Spain 2004
  7. 7. Why do farmers use the technology: GM HT soybeans in Romania Addresses weed problems effectively Weeds = main problem affecting yields and harvest quality Problem linked to limited herbicide use since 1990 – economic difficulties - establishment of weeds difficult to control Few farmers apply full recommended number of sprays (low profitability)
  8. 8. Farm level of GM crops in Europe Average Range Spain: yield impact +6.3% +1% to +15% Romania: yield impact +31% +12% to +50% Spain: increase in farm +13% Zero to +29% gross margin Romania: increase in +156% +12% to +300% gross margin
  9. 9. National level impact of GM crop use Million Euros 2004 Cumulative Value added as since first % of national grown production value 2004 IR maize: Spain +5.2 +18 +1 HT soy: +14.8 +31.4 +25 Romania
  10. 10. Other impacts Insurance benefit: a production risk management tool Convenience benefit: less time crop walking/spraying Small saving in energy costs and fuel Improved quality (lower mycotoxin levels in corn, less weed material in soy) Reduced risk of exposure to agro-chemicals Environmental benefits: lower levels of spraying and/or switch to more environmentally benign herbicides
  11. 11. Conclusion on farm level impact Benefit varies with level of pest & weed problems = varies by region and year Offers substantial benefits to some farmers but of marginal benefit to others = not a technology for all farmers Main benefits to the farmer; higher yield, improved farm profitability, convenience, risk management and less exposure to pesticides Main benefits to society: contribution to lower costs/real prices, improved grain quality (less mycotoxins) and improved environmental ‘foot print’ (less spraying)
  12. 12. Why limited adoption in Europe? Lack of trait approval for planting: only GM IR (bt) maize so far approved & few traits now being bought forward for reg approval Conditions of use: so-called co-existence measures Opposition to technology: NGOs very active & effective in scaring farmers, food chain, politicians and consumers Farmers will only adopt if they perceive can sell their crops Development of non GM market
  13. 13. Why limited use in Europe: co- existence Co-existence rules: supposed to allow farmers freedom to choose method of production In Spain have been based on sound science & commercial experience BUT some political interference from 2006 Being used in some countries as a way to discourage adoption (eg, Portugal, Germany)
  14. 14. Why limited use in Europe: non GM demand Demand for non GM products: perception that this dominates = influences farmer planting decisions BUT Reality: only 15% of soy and 25% corn required to be certified as non GM in Europe
  15. 15. What is Europe missing out on? Economic benefits = important for competitiveness of agriculture & food industry in Europe – competes in an ever ‘open’ global market Failure to adopt cost saving & productivity enhancing technology = loss of income & employment in European agriculture & user sectors Loss of environmental benefits: decreased environmental footprint from pesticide use & contribution to lower greenhouse gas emissions
  16. 16. The future Ag biotech likely to be embraced slowly in Europe Currently-next 5 years: Europe loses out economically & environmentally Wider adoption will come 5-10 year horizon but playing catch up with rest of world

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