Agricultural Biotechnology


Latin America (LATAM) has been growing transgenic crops since the mid-1990s and the region plays a worldwide leading role in the adoption and development of agricultural biotechnology. Latin America comprises 45% of the world's sown area with transgenic crops. Out of the 19 Latin American countries, ten have adopted GM crops. Four of them are among the top ten in the overall world ranking in terms of largest GM crops areas: Brazil (2nd), Argentina (3rd), Paraguay (6th) and Bolivia (10th). 

Experienced researchers in many countries in Latin America work in the development of GM crops, many of which have already been granted market authorization, while others are in the advanced stages of the process. Even though the introduction of GM animals is just beginning, the region shows great potential, with developments that could reach the market in the near future. 

Furthermore, the region plays a key role in the development and implementation of science-based regulatory frameworks and processes, which have been essential for research and safe adoption of these technologies. Equally noteworthy is the active role played by Latin American countries in multilateral fora, sharing their experience and promoting consensus-building in the international arena.  

Through its long history of use, agrobiotechnology has provided verified benefits, contributing to the development of Latin American countries. Transgenic crops have resulted in higher income for the countries that adopted them, benefitting not only farmers and their families but also society at large. In addition, GM crops have contributed to environmental protection, since their adoption results in greater yields, with the consequent reduction in the need to expand arable land, and also, in the decreased use of pesticides. In several countries, the adoption of GM crops has also encouraged the adoption of no-till farming, a practice that contributes to soil preservation and increased water use efficiency. These two technologies allow to reduce the time period between crops, resulting in more efficient crop-rotations and, additionally, lessened use of fossil fuels, and lessened greenhouse gas emissions. 

To learn more about Latin America and the region’s development, regulation and adoption of agricultural biotechnology, we invite you to visit and tour Biotec-LATAM.