Since the first biotech crop was commercialised in 1996, these crops have enjoyed a rapid adoption and are now grown commercially by 8.5 million farmers in 21 countries, an 11 per cent increase from 8.25 million in 17 countries in 2004. Research and development is being conducted in another 45. The billionth cumulative acre of biotech crops was grown in 2005. Notably, last year Iran grew its first crop of biotech rice, the first biotech planting of this important food crop globally. The Czech Republic planted biotech maize for the first time, bringing the total number of European Union (EU) countries growing biotech crops to five with Spain, Germany and the Czech Republic being joined by France and Portugal, which resumed planting biotech maize after four and five-year gaps, respectively. This could signal an important trend in the EU. Although North America leads in the research, more than half of the 63 countries engaged in biotech research, development and production are developing countries. The first generation of such crops focused largely on input agronomic traits, the next generation will focus more on value-added output traits. In the next decade, some studies estimate the global value of biotech crops will increase nearly five-fold to $210bn.
Unless specified by prior arrangement, the author agrees to the following terms and assurances:
- For myself and on behalf of the other authors listed on this work, I assign to thinkBiotech LLC the copyright* in the contribution for the full term throughout the world.
- I/we further give to the following assurances
- I am the sole author of the contribution, or, if not, I have the written authority of the other authors to transfer the copyright* to thinkBiotech LLC and give these warranties;
- I and (where appropriate) the other authors are entitled to transfer the copyright to thinkBiotech LLC and no one else would be entitled to prevent us from publishing the contribution;
- To the best of my/our knowledge, all the facts in the contribution are true and accurate;
- The content of the contribution is entirely original to me (and where appropriate to the other authors) or, if not, the written permission of the owner of the copyright in any material copied from elsewhere has been obtained for all media (all such permissions to be attached to the contribution as supplementary files);
- Nothing in the contribution is obscene or libellous;
- Nothing in the contribution infringes any duty of confidentiality which I/or the other authors may owe to anyone else.
- I and/or the other authors have obtained the appropriate clearances from my/our employer(s) or other concerned institution(s).