The biotechnology industry has really tried to win small-scale farmers over to genetically modified (GM) cotton, especially in Africa and Asia. Getting cotton approved in a country is a good way for the industry to pave the way for the entry of GM food crops. It is estimated that farmers around the globe planted about 21 million hectares of GM cotton in 2011. According to the biotechnology industry, about 15 million peasant farmers planted pest-resistant Bt cotton last year, mostly in India.

They also claim that South Africa is one of the countries in the global South where cotton has made a significant contribution to improving smallholder livelihoods. They say that the adoption of GM cotton by small-scale farmers is a success story, however, reports from the ground tell of social upheaval, heavy debts, poor quality produce, and environmental and health problems.

Read the fact sheet here.