Keywords: transgenic development, cotton yield, bollworm, economic impact, biotechnology, Burkina Easo, West Africa, Bt cotton, GM crops, agricultural biotechnology, insecticides, bacillus thuringiensis, genetically modified crops, GM cotton, pesticide use
The economic impacts of second generation Bt cotton in West Africa: empirical evidence from Burkina Faso
West Africa has been slow in adopting agricultural biotechnology. The most progressive stance has been taken by Burkina Faso, which began field testing Bt cotton in 2003. This paper reports the first three years of Bt cotton field trials, which found that Bt cotton increased cotton yields by an average of 20% and reduced insecticide applications by two-thirds. While the technical success of Bt cotton is encouraging, the tests were confined to small scale plots and unit returns found on the experiment station. This paper extrapolates the field test results to the national scale using an economic model, which predicts the economic impacts of introducing Bt cotton in the Burkina Faso cotton sector. The model results found that Bt cotton would generate benefits of $106 per year under typical pest density conditions.