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Benefits of biotechnology to small scale farmers: Case Study Makhatini MR THEMBITSHE JOSEPH BUTHELEZI (T J) UBONGWA CAPE TOWN BIOTECHNOLOGY INFORMATION DAY 14 TH AUGUST 2002
WHAT IS UBONGWA? o Ubongwa is an umbrella association of 50 smallholder farmer associations in Kwa. Zulu-Natal. o I am the chairman of Ubongwa.
COTTON GROWN IN SOUTH AFRICA
GENETICALLY MODIFIED COTTON IN SOUTH AFRICA (GM) o. Insect resistant cotton (Bt-cotton) first grown in Makhathini 1996 / 97. o My farm was one of the first four farms to try GM cotton in 1996 / 97. o I planted 2 ha with GM cotton and 2 ha with conventional cotton in 1999 / 2000. o Other farmers from different associations came to see my GM cotton.
Bt-cotton vs. non Bt-cotton (both planted at the same time) Bt-cotton • Small compact plant • Many mature bolls ready for harvest • -3 sprays for non bollworm pests Non Bt-cotton • Large plant, excessive vegetative growth • Difficult to spray • Few bolls to harvest • 10 sprays for all insect pests
SMALLHOLDER ADOPTION OF Bt COTTON IN THE MAKHATINI Statistics - 1999/00 to 2000/01 Growth in no. of Bt-cotton users: 57% Bt-cotton: 52% non Bt cotton: 48%
IMPLICATIONS FOR SMALLHOLDER GROWERS NEGATIVES § Affordability § Technology fee § Emergence of other pests which were previously controlled by bollworm sprays § Jassids, green stinkbug § These are easily controlled with 1 -2 sprays § Are not as damaging as bollworms
IMPLICATIONS FOR SMALLHOLDER GROWERS POSITIVES § Savings § Time (free up time to do other household tasks) § Water (water provision for spraying difficult) § Costs of pesticides § Labour (20 km to spray 1 ha with knapsack) § Transport (to buy pesticides)
IMPLICATIONS FOR SMALLHOLDER GROWERS CONT. POSITIVES Safety Reduced handling of hazardous chemicals Improved bollworm control efficiency Weather no longer plays a role in spray efficiency § Technology provides superior bollworm control § Improved ecology § §
IMPLICATIONS FOR SMALLHOLDER GROWERS CONT. POSITIVES § § Technology provides improved yields Makes cotton a more attractive cash crop Better utilization of land - limited resource Improved returns = better quality of life
IMPLICATIONS FOR SMALLHOLDER GROWERS CONT. POSITIVES § Reduction in use of broad spectrum insecticides § Less environmental pollution § Improved biological control of aphids & spider mites
OVERALL IMPACT OF Bt COTTON IN SOUTH AFRICA FOR SMALLHOLDER FARMERS § Impacting more on smallholder farmers than commercial § ~ 85% of smallholder area is Bt cotton § Increased yield and profit for both commercial & smallholder farmers. § We used to get 6 tons/ha of cotton, now we get 9. 8 tons/ha using Bt cotton.
OIL & FIBRE CROPS IN AFRICA Class Crop Production (MT) in 2000 Oil Crops Soybeans 724 493 Sunflower seed 101 950 Canola 80 000 other oil seeds 198 797 Palm oil Fibre Crops Cotton 3 557 717 Jute 3 400 Jute-like fibres 120736 Hemp 530 Sisal 64 345 Source: FAO Statistics 2000
THE DIFFERENCE GM COTTON HAS MADE TO ME § Less labour and time needed to grow cotton so I can grow more. § I used to grow 4 ha, now I can grow 12 ha of cotton and I plan to grow 25 ha next year. § Now I have enough money to build a house.