|Journal Article - Biotechnology in Africa
|Bt Cotton in Burkina Faso Demonstrates That Political Will Is Key for Biotechnology to Benefit Commercial Agriculture in Africa
In 2009, the first year of commercial production of Bt cotton in Burkina Faso, producers planted 129,000 ha, making this the largest introduction of biotechnology on the African continent. The plantation area doubled in 2010 (256,000 ha), but decreased in 2011 (251,580 ha). In 2012, the area of Bt cotton cultivated increased to 300,000 ha. The speeding-up of agricultural biotechnology development in the country is not only due to the political will of authorities, but also because of the determination of stakeholders including scientists, producers, and cotton companies in biotechnology adoption. Therefore, the country’s experience provides an excellent example of the processes and procedures which must be gone through for a biotechnology product to be successfully introduced into a developing country where agriculture is a crucial contributor to the gross domestic product (GDP).
The Institute of Environment and Agricultural Research (INERA) and Monsanto conducted controlled experiments with insect-resistant Bt cotton from 2003 to 2006. Success obtained during this seed development program led to evaluating Bt cotton for insect-resistance on a larger scale by commercial farmers in 2007; Bt cotton was commercially released in 2008. Meanwhile, the national rules for safety in biotechnology were adopted in June 2004, and the National Biosafety Agency (NBA) established in 2005. The law on biosafety was passed by the Parliament on March 2006 and promulgated on April 2006. Neighboring countries, especially Benin, Chad, and Mali, would benefit from Burkina Faso’s experience, being next in line to introduce Bt cotton.
|Burkina Faso - Recensement Général de la Population et de l'Habitation 2006