- Created on Sunday, 16 September 2012 18:36
In 2008 Canada lost its fourth place ranking to India in terms of total area of biotech crops and is now at fifth place globally. Despite this Canada still manage a 9% year-over-year growth rate and planted a total of 7.6 million ha of biotech crops. Canada is another member of the six “founder biotech crop counties”, having commercialized herbicide tolerant canola in 1996.
Canada has four biotech crops canola, maize, soybean and recently commercialized in 2008 sugar beet. The largest of these being herbicide tolerant canola, which amounted to 5.5 million ha of the total canola area of 6.4 million ha in 2008. This shows an increase of 8% growth rate from 2007. The total area of maize planted in 2008 was 1, 2 million ha of which 1,190,000 ha was biotech maize. The total area of soybean planted in 2008 was 1.2 million ha of which 880,000 ha was biotech soybean.
Except for USA, Canada is to only other country to grow a triple stack variety of maize with one gene for European corn borer, a second for root worm control and a third for herbicide tolerance. Of the biotech maize in Canada in 2008, 68% had single genes, 27% had 2 stacked genes and 5% had triple stacked genes
Canada is estimated to have enhanced farm income from biotech crops by US$2 billion in the period 1996 to 2007 and the benefits for 2007 alone were about US$0.5 billion (Brookes and Barfoot, 2009)