Small farmers in developing countries benefiting significantly from genetically modified crops

February 19, 2014

Despite the proclamations of the so-called "organic" movement and the anti-industry activists, small farmers in developing countries are benefiting significantly from genetically modified crops, according to a large review of the peer-reviewed research literature by US consultants. Writing in the International Journal of Biotechnology, Janet Carpenter of JE Carpenter Consulting LLC in Boylston, Massachusetts explains how they see improvements in health, education, debt repayment, maternal care services and food security.

The primary research literature tends to focus on the technology itself and the business aspects of the development and deployment of GM crops. However, there is also a substantial number of papers that have detail investigations of the broader set of socio-economic impacts, which has provided Carpenter with the necessary resources to conclude that, "The results of the available literature show that the impacts of the technology are multi-faceted and ripple through local and national economies."

  • While proportions vary, the literature show GM farmers receive a large share of the benefits. When prices change, consumers benefit from lower prices.
  • Smaller farms in many countries benefit from adoption of GM crops in some cases more than big farms.
  • The few studies that considered household income show greater increases among lower-income farmers in adopting GM crops.
  • Labor requirements are often cut by reduced spraying and tillage but increased by greater crop yields.
  • In studies of social welfare, GM adopters report improvements in health, education, debt repayment, maternal care services and .

Explore further: Genetically modified cotton improves diet quality for small-scale farmers in India

More information: Carpenter J.E. (2013). "The socio-economic impacts of currently commercialised genetically engineered crops," International Journal of Biotechnology, 12 (4) 249. DOI: 10.1504/IJBT.2013.059248

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not rated yet Feb 20, 2014
Someone needs to check the facts before publishing articles like this. More than 70% of global food production comes from small no GMO and organic farms globally using 30% of the agricultural landmass and enough food is produced globally to feed 14 billion people. So why do we have false claims like the above and why do we have GMO technology when it is clearly not needed? The answer is simple.
We all need to eat. Its worth the investment to seize control of all the food by inserting patented genes into every food type to ensure continued payments above the going rates and the continued marginalisation of conventional/organic crops through contamination and ultimately court cases suing for the intellectual property rights of the corporations, despite it being they who contaminated the non GMO crops. The laws are twisted in the corporations favour all the time. In the end there will be no non-GMO food available anywhere. It has never been tested in long term human feeding trials either.
not rated yet Mar 03, 2014
Kev_C, Where is your source for the data you cite (peer-reviewed please)?
Mar 03, 2014
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