Posts Tagged ‘genetically modified crops’

Meeting demands for increased cereal production in China

Posted by Carelia Juarez on , in Journal Articles

Published in Journal of Cereal Science, 2013

He Zhonghu; Xia Xianchun; Peng, S.; Lumpkin, T.A.

Meeting demands for increased cereal production in China is a great challenge and this paper provides updated information on cereal production and the potential adaptation of cropping systems to climate change, as well as on progress in improving yield potential and developing molecular markers and GM cereals in China. Maize production and soybean imports are increasing significantly to meet the strong demand for feed by a rapidly growing livestock industry. Extension of the rice and maize growing seasons in northeastern China and improvement of the cropping system through delayed wheat planting have contributed to improving cereal productivity despite changing climatic conditions. Significant improvements in yield potential of rice, maize, and wheat have been achieved. Comparative genomics has been successfully used to develop and validate functional markers for processing quality traits in wheat, and also for developing new varieties. Although transgenic Bt rice and maize, and maize expressing phytase have been developed, their commercialization has not been officially permitted. International collaboration has contributed significantly to cereal production by providing germplasm and improved crop management practices. Full integration of applied molecular technologies into conventional breeding programs and promotion of lower-input technologies, will play a key role in increasing and sustaining future cereal production.

Assessing the potential economic impact of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) maize in Kenya

Posted by on , in Journal Articles

Published in African Journal of Biotechnology Vol. 10 (23), pp. 4741-4751, 2011

Assessing the potential economic impact of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) maize in Kenya

Hugo De Groote, William A. Overholt, James O. Ouma, and J. Wanyama

The Insect Resistant Maize for Africa (IRMA) project is currently developing Bt maize for Kenya. So far, Bt genes with resistance to Chilo partellus, Chilo orichalcociliellus, Eldana sacharina, and Sesamia calamistis, four of the five major stemborers were successfully incorporated into elite CIMMYT maize inbred line (CML216) and tested in insect bioassays in Kenya. Participatory Rural Appraisals showed that stem borers are indeed major pest problems for farmers. Four seasons of on-farm crop loss assessment showed an average crop loss of 13.5%, or 0.4 million tons, valued at US$ 80 million. If the project manages to find a Bt gene that is effective to the fifth stemborer, Busseola fusca, adoption rates are likely to be high, and therefore the returns. Under standard assumptions, the economic surplus of the project is calculated at $ 208 million over 25 years(66% of which is consumer surplus) as compared to a cost of $5.7 million. Geographically, the project should focus on the high production moist-transitional zone. However, if such gene cannot be found, Bt maize technology would only be effective in the low potential areas, and adoption rates would be fairly low, although benefits would still exceed costs.