Part one of the report breaks down the myth that genetically modified (GM) crops have achieved worldwide agricultural success, analyzing statistics from each continent while also summarizing the state of GM adoption.
The second part discusses GM impacts on agriculture- resulting in the rise of herbicide use and the development of pest resistance. The impact of the biotechnology industry on farmers’ choice, and the economics involved, is also addressed.
The report states, “The rising costs of seeds and inputs reflect the near-monopoly power of the biotech companies, and the growing market concentration in the wider agricultural input sector. Monsanto controls 98 per cent of the US seed market for soy and 79 per cent of the maize [corn] market…”
In conclusion, “Who Benefits from GM Crops?” looks to sustainable solutions to tackling hunger, with an emphasis on agro-ecology. Some of the recommendations are:
• Build capacity to produce food for local consumption rather than for export, with an emphasis on small-scale food producers.
• Focus on participatory research that uses traditional knowledge of small holders and combines it with modern approaches
• Enable development and access to low cost traditional varieties of seeds led by local communities and livestock breeds and increases agricultural biodiversity
• Provide agricultural extension services so farmers can access and implement knowledge that will enable them to farm more sustainably, and ensure that farmers are involved in developing research programs
• Support the establishment of farmers’ cooperatives and other producer organizations for small holders and ensuring local and national markets can work for smallholders