Comparative Analysis of the Economics of Bt and Non-Bt Cotton Production. Orphal, J. & Institute of Economics in Horticulture, F., o., B., A., a., E. 2005.
abstract   bibtex   
[From Preface] Biotechnology has rapidly and overwhelmingly entered agriculture in the USA and some other countries. Most biotechnology applications that are today in farmers’ fields are in the area of crop protection, expressing herbicide tolerance and insect resistance. In developing countries, Bt cotton was introduced in China in the mid nineties and since then the area planted with transgenic cotton has rapidly expanded. Initial economic analysis indicated considerable economic benefits from this technology. Studies that compared adopters of Bt cotton varieties with non-adopters found higher yields and lower pesticide use. The results have raised great expectations regarding the contribution of biotechnology to rural poverty reduction. In India, the government was initially reluctant to approve the commercial use of Bt varieties because civil society organisations raised concerns about possible negative environmental effects of Bt cotton. Nevertheless, commercial planting was approved in the 2002/2003 season. While the debate on the environmental risks of the Bt technology continues, the question of economic benefits has received less attention. No ex-ante economic analysis was conducted in India prior to the commercialisation of Bt varieties. In an article published in Science in 2003, Matin Qaim and David Zilberman presented an analysis that investigated yield and pesticide use effects of Bt cotton on the basis of experimental data. Their conclusions were highly optimistic. Economic calculations based on these data predicted a very rapid uptake of Bt cotton in India. It was expected that by 2005 already 70 % of the cotton area in India would be planted with Bt varieties. The rationale for this study was to assess the actual technology adoption process based on data from farmers´ fields. Input and output information was collected from farmers who had purchased the new cotton varieties and farmers who continued to use conventional ones. This study by Jana Orphal is thus most useful for providing researchers and regulators with valuable information about institutional conditions, the technology transfer process, the expectations and the actual performance of the new technology given farmers’ constraints in terms of physical, financial and human resources. The results ultimately tend to support the observation that whenever a new technology is introduced, not only is there a tendency to exaggerate its risks and therefore its external costs, but the same may also be true for its benefits. Therefore economists should continue to study and identify the conditionsunder which agro-biotechnology can be of maximum benefit to producers, consumers and future generations.
@misc{
 title = {Comparative Analysis of the Economics of Bt and Non-Bt Cotton Production},
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 year = {2005},
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 abstract = {[From Preface]  Biotechnology has rapidly and overwhelmingly entered agriculture in the USA and some other countries. Most biotechnology applications that are today in farmers’ fields are in the area of crop protection, expressing herbicide tolerance and insect resistance. In developing countries, Bt cotton was introduced in China in the mid nineties and since then the area planted with transgenic cotton has rapidly expanded. Initial economic analysis indicated considerable economic benefits from this technology. Studies that compared adopters of Bt cotton varieties with non-adopters found higher yields and lower pesticide use. The results have raised great expectations regarding the contribution of biotechnology to rural poverty reduction. In India, the government was initially reluctant to approve the commercial use of Bt varieties because civil society organisations raised concerns about possible negative environmental effects of Bt cotton. Nevertheless, commercial planting was approved in the 2002/2003 season. While the debate on the environmental risks of the Bt technology continues, the question of economic benefits has received less attention. No ex-ante economic analysis was conducted in India prior to the commercialisation of Bt varieties. In an article published in Science in 2003, Matin Qaim and David Zilberman presented an analysis that investigated yield and pesticide use effects of Bt cotton on the basis of experimental data. Their conclusions were highly optimistic. Economic calculations based on these data predicted a very rapid uptake of Bt cotton in India. It was expected that by 2005 already 70 % of the cotton area in India would be planted with Bt varieties. The rationale for this study was to assess the actual technology adoption process based on data from farmers´ fields. Input and output information was collected from farmers who had purchased the new cotton varieties and farmers who continued to use conventional ones. This study by Jana Orphal is thus most useful for providing researchers and regulators with valuable information about institutional conditions, the technology transfer process, the expectations and the actual performance of the new technology given farmers’ constraints in terms of physical, financial and human resources. The results ultimately tend to support the observation that whenever a new technology is introduced, not only is there a tendency to exaggerate its risks and therefore its external costs, but the same may also be true for its benefits. Therefore economists should continue to study and identify the conditionsunder which agro-biotechnology can be of maximum benefit to producers, consumers and future generations.},
 bibtype = {misc},
 author = {Orphal, Jana and Institute of Economics in Horticulture, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics}
}
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