Genetically modified corn adoption in Brazil, costs and production strategy: Results from a four-year field survey
Genetically modified (GM) corn accounting for 90% of total area in Brazil. In this paper, we report the results of a four-year field survey (2010/11, 2013/14, 2014/15 and 2015/16) on corn production costs in Brazil, for two harvests and eleven states. The survey used both a quantitative and a qualitative approach: the first one compares GM and NonGM varieties costs in the two harvests, as well as the evolution of costs for GM corn, and the second part reports the results of a qualitative field survey. Results showed that GM corn costs are higher when compared to NonGM corn, due to higher GM seed prices, which more than compensate for the decrease in insecticides costs. When comparing the evolution of GM corn costs, seed costs tended to decrease, but insecticides had an increasing trend. The qualitative survey interviewed 314 agents, and the results showed that, in most cases, risk reduction, genetic potential, and low availability of NonGM seeds explained GM adoption. These two last factors may reflect a commercial strategy of seed companies, an issue that deserves more attention.
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