Facing weak yields and poor weather, Bolivian farmers demand access to new GMO seeds

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A Bolivian farmer works to harvest his corn crop

Facing declining yields and inclement weather, smallholder farmers in Bolivia are asking the government to approve of the use of more transgenic seeds to reduce production costs in crops such as soybeans, corn and sorghum.

Isidoro Barrientos, president of the Chamber of Small Producers of Santa Cruz (Cappo), said the situation is critical because of four consecutive years of crop losses due to inclement weather, floods and droughts, and the low prices of some grains such as soybeans …. Barrientos said that it is necessary for the government to prepare a standard for the use of biotechnology ….

The leader argued that the use of transgenic seeds will reduce producers’ operating costs and increase their yields. “The small producers of soybeans and other winter rotation grains such as corn, sorghum, wheat and sunflower, are on the verge of bankruptcy,” said Barrientos.

Related article:  Video: Filipino farmers 'clamor' for access to GMO insect-resistant Bt eggplant

[Editor’s note: This story was published in Spanish and has been translated and edited for clarity.]

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