Bt Cotton Case Study

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Bacillus thuringiensis cotton, shortened as Bt cotton, is known as one of the outstanding results that the gene revolution bring to agriculture production. It was designed to reduce the amount of pesticide used and increase the yields (Perlak et al., 2001). Among all developing countries, China is often cited as one of the most successful countries that makes use of modern biotechnology and Bt cotton. This research focuses on reexamine the effects of Bt cotton in China and some potential problems. Insect pests, in particular the cotton bollworm, had been a major problem for Chinese cotton farmers in the 1980s. Hydrocarbons like DDT could help kill these pests but were banned for environmental and health reasons (Stone, 1988). Farmers later started using pyrethroids in the 1990s. This pesticide was effective in the beginning but gradually lost power as…show more content…
Therefore, there must exist certain economic benefits behind this behavior. Table 3 shows the revenue difference between non-Bt cotton and Bt cotton among sample farmers from Hebei, Shandong, Henan and Jiangsu provinces. As the table indicates, the biggest difference between Bt and non-Bt cotton is that Bt cotton cost much less on labor and pesticide, while non-Bt cotton seeds are cheaper. Total cost for Bt cotton is obviously less than non-Bt cotton, and thus brought benefits to farmers in those provinces. In order to better understand the effect of Bt cotton, an econometric analysis conducted by Huang using a damage abatement production approach developed by Headley (1968) and Lichtenberg and Zilberman (1986) is cited here. (Table 4) According to the first column, the negative and highly significant coefficient on the Bt cotton variable demonstrates that pesticide usage was sharply reduced compared to non Bt cotton farmers in

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