In Asia, China and India continue to lead developing countries growing biotech crops at 3.9 million hectares and 11.6 million hectares planted in 2014, respectively.
A record 181.5 million hectares of biotech crops were planted in 2014, an increase of more than 6 million hectares from 2013 during the 19th year of successful commercialization, stated a report released on January 30, 2015 by the ISAAA.
"The accumulated hectarage of biotech crops grown in 1996 to 2014 equals, roughly, 80 percent more than the total land mass of China," said Clive James, ISAAA founder and report author in a live video message. "Global hectarage has increased more than 100-fold since the first plantings of biotech crops," he added during a press briefing held at New Delhi.
More than 10 food, feed and fiber biotech crops have been approved, planted and consumed around the world during the 1996 to 2014 period. These crops range from major commodities such as maize, soybean, canola and cotton, to crops like sugar beet and sweet corn, and to fruits and vegetables like papaya, squash, sweet pepper, brinjal and, most recently, potato.
According to the report, the United States continues to lead planting at 73.1 million hectares. Up 3 million hectares - a growth rate of 4 percent - from 2013, the United States recorded the highest year-over-year increase, surpassing Brazil, which has recorded the highest annual increase for the past five years.
In 2014, Brazil increased planting of biotech crops by1.9 million hectares to 42.2 million hectares whereas Argentina maintained biotech crops hectarage at 24.3 million hectares. "The world is moving forward in adopting GM crops. There is a new momentum, new hope that India must realize to harness the benefits of this useful technology", said Dr C D Mayee, President, Indian Society for Cotton improvement. "It is high time we catch up with others in extending the technology beyond Bt cotton", said Dr Mayee.
Biotech crops in Asia gain momentum