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El cultivo de maíz transgénico BT en España supone un ahorro de 156 millones de euros en quince años, según el sector

Pressebericht (spanisch) und Pressemitteilung (engl.) zur Studie von Dr. Laura Riesgo "15 years of Bt maize cultivation in Spain: Economic, social and environmental benefits"

 

Pressemitteilung von EuropaBio: http://www.europabio.org/news/1998-thanks-bt-maize-cultivation-maize-imports-spain-have-been-reduced-more-853000-tonnes mit Links zur Studie (in spanischer Sprache) und zur Summary (engl.)
 

Madrid, 28 November, 2013 – On the ocassion of the 15th anniversary of cultivation of genetically modified (GM) maize in the European Union, the Antama Foundation is publishing the report '15 years of Bt maize cultivation in Spain : Economic, social and environmental benefits' by Dr. Laura Riesgo, Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Oviedo and Professor of Applied Economics at the University Pablo de Olavide. The report, a unique analysis of the benefits obtained in Spain from the adoption of Bt maize, is a comprehensive study that assesses and quantifies the positive impact of agricultural biotechnology at economic, social and environmental levels.

The report concludes that the adoption of Bt maize has allowed Spain to reduce its maize imports by over 853,000 tonnes between 1998 and 2013, with a consequent saving of 156 million euros. This is a significant contribution to the Spanish foreign trade figures, which show a trade deficit in this crop.

In the last 15 years Bt maize has increased maize production in Spain by 853,201 tons. To achieve this additional production through conventional crops it would have been necessary to increase the maize acreage with an additional water consumption of 490,126 thousand m3. This amount of water is equivalent to the annual water supply to 59 towns of 10,000 inhabitants each.

Globally, Bt maize cultivation in Spain has averted a potential water footprint of 1,041 million m3 over the past 16 years, thus reducing pressure on the supply of fresh water. Moreover, a net additional carbon fixation of 662,937 tonnes of CO2 equivalent has been produced, meaning that since the beginning of Bt maize cultivation, emissions of CO2 in Spain have been offset by the equivalent of 22,394 cars annually.

The main economic reasons behind the adoption of Bt maize are the higher crop yields and the lower production costs. This is due to fewer pesticide applications, cutting input costs, and a smaller incidence of fumonisins (mycotoxins) in maize, and the reduction of production losses caused by the corn borer. In addition, Bt maize reduces the environmental impact on beneficial insect species. Average yield levels vary between improvements of 7.38% and 10.53%, according to the area and severity of the infestation.

The best yield of Bt maize is in the additional economic benefits accruing to the farmer due to the higher gross margin generated in relation to conventional maize. This difference in gross margin can be as much as 147 euros per hectare, depending on the area and the year of study. In addition to the economic benefits of Bt maize, farmers also cite the ease of management it delivers.