The Impact of the Introduction of Transgenic Crops in Argentinean Agriculture
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Since the early 1990s, Argentinean grain production underwent a dramatic increase in grains production (from 26 million tons in 1988/89 to over 75 million tons in 2002/2003). Several factors contributed to this "revolution," but probably one of the most important was the introduction of new genetic modification (GM) technologies, specifically herbicide-tolerant soybeans. This article analyses this process, reporting on the economic benefits accruing to producers and other participating actors as well as some of the environmental and social impacts that could be associated with the introduction of the new technologies. In doing so, it lends attention to the synergies between GM soybeans and reduced-tillage technologies and also explores some of the institutional factors that shed light on the success of this case, including aspects such as the early availability of a reliable biosafety mechanism and a special intellectual property rights (IPR) situation. In its concluding comments, this article also posts a number of questions about the replicability of the experience and some pending policy issues regarding the future exploitation of GM technologies in Argentina.
AgBioForum, 6(3) 2003: 87-94.