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Burkina Faso

In 2008 the government through the evaluation of the National Bio-Security Agency of Burkina Faso approved two varieties of Bt cotton for seed production and commercialization. Approximately 8,500 ha of Bt cotton were planted for seed production and initial commercialization for the first time in Burkina Faso. In 2009 approximately 160,000 ha of Bt cotton will be planted equivalent to one third of total cotton production in Burkina Faso. This is a significant increase from 2008 and will act as a model for many other developing countries growing cotton

The National Agricultural Research Institute (INERA) has been field testing Bt cotton since 2003 with tremendous results. Bt cotton requires only two insecticide applications compared with 6-8 for conventional cotton. Insecticide use amounts to about 30% of total growing costs of cotton. Bt cotton provides about 75% saving in insecticide and labour. Bt cotton generally provides a 30% higher yield than conventional cotton. This results in a more competitive product for the international cotton market and higher profits for small-scale and resource-poor farmers,

In a recent study by Vitale et al 2008 the economic impacts of second generation Bt cotton would generate an estimated US$106 million per year for Burkina Faso based on a yield increase of only 20% and a decreased use of insecticides. In another study by Falck-Zepeda et al 2008 concluded that “Bt technology needs to be adopted, if only to catch up with major cotton producing countries in the rest of the world. Under the assumptions of the model, all the study countries are worse off economically by not adopting Bt cotton”

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