Adoption and uptake pathway of GM technology by Chinese smallholders: evidence from Bt cotton production

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Abstract or Summary

There has been rapid growth of genetically modified (GM) crop areas since the late 1990s. With an 100-fold increase from 1996 to 2012, the global accumulated GM crop area is now 170 million ha, distributed across 28 countries. Among all of biotech crops, Bt cotton has been proven to be successfully adopted by smallholder farmers in developing countries including China.

Even though existing studies empirically analyzed the key factors that significantly influenced the adoption decision of smallholders on Bt cotton adoption, some information on its uptake process such as the roles of different stakeholders on the technology adoption remain unknown. To fill this gap, this study analyzed the adoption and uptake pathways of Bt cotton among smallholders in China. The specific objectives of the study are as follows:
1. Present the evolution of cotton production in China, with the special attention to the
temporal and spatial characteristics of the commercial release of Bt cotton.
2. Explore the factors including demographic and farm characteristics correlated with the
adoption of Bt cotton.
3. Assess the impacts of Bt cotton in terms of inputs and yield in production; and direct
effects on smallholders’ revenue among others.
4. Identify the development interventions of different stakeholders like leading farmers,
technicians, and seed dealers in the uptake pathway of Bt cotton in China.

The study employed descriptive statistics using survey and an FGD tool known as Innovation Tree. The sampling strategy for the survey is as follows: first, the four provinces namely Hebei, Henan, Shandong, and Anhui located in Huang-Huai-Hai cotton production zone were chosen according to the area of cotton production and the history of adopting Bt cotton. Secondly, in each province, two counties planting different varieties of Bt cotton and with different cotton farm areas were chosen. Thirdly, two villages in each county and 20 farmers within a village were randomly selected. The final sample came from 439 households (325 Bt-cotton producers and 114 non- cotton producers) from 20 villages located in 8 counties in 4 provinces.

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