Five years of Bt cotton in China – the benefits continue

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Abstract or Summary

Bt cotton is spreading very rapidly in China, in response to demand from farmers for technology that will reduce both the cost of pesticide applications and exposure to pesticides, and will free up time for other tasks. Based on surveys of hundreds of farmers in the Yellow River cotton-growing region in northern China in 1999, 2000 and 2001, over 4 million smallholders have been able to increase yield per hectare, and reduce pesticide costs, time spent spraying dangerous pesticides, and illnesses due to pesticide poisoning. The expansion of this cost-saving technology is increasing the supply of cotton and pushing down the price, but prices are still sufficiently high for adopters of Bt cotton to make substantial gains in net income.

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