Bt cotton allows for better social and economic conditions in Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso is amongst the poorest countries in the world, and cotton is the primary source of income for smallholder farmers. Two-million people make a living from cotton production, which represents 60 per cent of the country’s exports. However, it is often ravaged by insects, devastating 90 per cent of the crop. The introduction of Bollgard II, a GM variety of cotton that expresses the naturally occurring Bacillus Thuringiensis (Bt) has enabled farmers to protect cotton crops from certain target insects and allowed growers to increase both their yield and revenue, while decreasing the use of pesticides by two thirds. Following the second year of large scale planting farmers are expressing their own experiences of the benefits this technology can bring, including considerable improvements in their wellbeing, profits and work time.

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