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In 2010, Brazil retained and strengthens its position as the second largest grower of biotech crops in the world. Biotech crops in Brazil in 2010 were estimated to occupy 25.4 million hectares; this is an increase of 4.0 million hectares, the largest absolute increase in any country in the world, for the second year running, and equivalent to a 19% increase over 2009; Brazil now plants 17% of all the biotech crops in the world.
The economic gains at the farm level for Brazil for the seven year period 2003 to 2009 was US$3.5 billion and US$0.7 billion for 2009 alone. Of the 25.4 million hectares of biotech crops grown in Brazil in 2010, 17.8 million hectares were planted for the eighth consecutive year to RRsoybean, up from 16.2 million hectares in 2009 and representing a record 75% adoption rate, versus 7.1% in 2009. In addition, in 2010 Brazil planted 7.3 million hectares of biotech maize for the third time in both the summer and winter seasons.
The hectarage of biotech maize increase by 2.3 million hectares or almost a 50% increase over 2009, with an adoption rate of 56%; the adoption rates for summer maize were 43%, and 76% for the winter maize which also included, for the first time, stacked traits (Bt/HT) in the winter maize. Finally, 25,000 hectares of biotech cotton were planted for the fifth time at an adoption rate of approximately 25%. Stacked gene products for herbicide tolerance and insect resistance have already been approved for all three biotech crops – cotton, maize and soybean.
The future of biotech crops in Brazil looks very promising with a “home-grow” virus resistant bean developed by EMBRAPA, in the final stages of field testing, and a herbicide tolerant soybean developed jointly by Embrapa and BASF ready for commercialization in 2011. To-date, Brazil has approved 27 crop events, with 8 events (4 maize, 3 soybeans and 1cotton) expeditiously approved in 2010 alone.

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