Pakistan: Yields on Bt cotton 20 percent higher despite lower pesticide use

Researchers in Pakistan published a study that showed that Bt cotton, which is genetically modified to produce a protein that kills the bollworm pest, produced yields 20 percent higher than conventional cotton, while requiring fewer pesticide applications. Conventional farmers, they found, underuse pesticides “from a profit-maximizing perspective,” leading to more damage from pests. Bt cotton controls pest damage more effectively. In regions with the largest pest problems, “Bt [cotton] can contribute to productivity growth, while reducing pesticide applications.”

The study was published in Environment and Development Economics.

Read the full, original story here: Bt cotton, damage control and optimal levels of pesticide use in Pakistan

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