Adoption and Uptake Pathway of GM Technology by Chinese Smallholders: Evidence from Bt Cotton Production
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Bt cotton was commercially released in 1997. After this, it was successfully adopted in China, helping Chinese farmers recover their cotton production in the late 1990s. Descriptive statistics and findings from focus group discussions show that farmers prefer Bt cotton mainly because it is effective in controlling bollworm and reducing yield loss from bollworm attacks, it reduces pesticide usage, and it is an environmentally friendly crop. In the first stage of Bt cotton diffusion, seed companies and technology developers (e.g., research institutes and biotech companies) both played an important role in convincing farmers to use Bt cotton. After the first farmers to adopt Bt cotton demonstrated its outstanding performance, other farmers soon followed suit. However, it is worth noting that when Bt cotton was first released, there were constraints on its adoption, such as limited knowledge about biotechnology.