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Impact of Bt cotton on farmer livelihoods in South Africa

Morse, S. and Bennett, R. (2008) Impact of Bt cotton on farmer livelihoods in South Africa. International Journal of Biotechnology, 10 (2-3). pp. 224-239. ISSN 0963-6048(print); 1741-5020(electronic)

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1504/IJBT.2008.018355


The economic benefits of Genetically Modified (GM) crops in developing countries have been well documented, but little research has been undertaken to date on the impacts of GM adoption on household livelihoods. The research reported here aimed to assess the livelihood impacts of the adoption of Bt cotton in South Africa., and involved 100 interviews of resource-poor farmers growing Bt cotton in Makhathini Flats, South Africa. Some 88% of respondents reported a higher income from Bt compared to non-Bt varieties previously grown by them, and this higher income was used primarily for greater education of their children (76%), more investment in growing cotton (46%), repaying debt (28%), investment in other crops (20%) and spending money on themselves. Some 89% had increased their asset base due to Bt cotton, primarily by increasing their cultivable land. These benefits of Bt adoption appeared widespread regardless of gender or farm size.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Geography and Environmental Science
Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Human Environments
ID Code:3879
Uncontrolled Keywords:Molecular Genetics (Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics) Economics Agronomy (Agriculture) Pest Assessment Control and Management 00532, General biology - Miscellaneous 03502, Genetics - General 03504, Genetics - Plant 03508, Genetics - Human 25000, Pediatrics 31000, Physiology and biochemistry of bacteria 31500, Genetics of bacteria and viruses 52502, Agronomy - Miscellaneous and mixed crops 52508, Agronomy - Fiber crops 54600, Pest control: general, pesticides and herbicides Eubacteria, Bacteria, Microorganisms Bacteria, Eubacteria, Microorganisms Endospore-forming Gram-Positives [07810] [Bacillus thuringiensis (biological control agent)]/Primates, Mammalia, Vertebrata, Chordata, Animalia Animals, Chordates, Humans, Mammals, Primates, Vertebrates Hominidae [86215] [human (child, adult female, male)]/Dicotyledones, Angiospermae, Spermatophyta, Plantae Angiosperms, Dicots, Plants, Spermatophytes, Vascular Plants Malvaceae [26330] [cotton (fiber crop genetically modified crop)] South Africa Africa Ethiopian region
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