SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazil has expanded the area cultivated with genetically modified (GM) crops by 1.1 million hectares as farmers seek to boost output and yields in one of the world’s largest producers of foodstuffs like soy and corn.
ISAAA, a not-for-profit group that promotes the use of biotech crops internationally, released a study on Tuesday showing Brazil’s area planted with GM crops totaled 50.2 million hectares in 2017, a 2 percent rise from the previous year.
The data showed the country lagged only the United States, where an area estimated at 75 million hectares was planted with GM crops last year.
“Brazilian producers see this technology as an ally to control insects, weeds and increase production,” said Adriana Brondani, a director at the Center for Biotechnology Information.
The South American nation, the largest soybean and second-largest corn exporter in the world behind the U.S., accounts for 26 percent of the world’s entire GM area, ISAAA said.
Adoption of biotech crops in cotton, soybean, and first and second corn represents 94 percent of such crops in Brazil, ISAAA data show.
Reporting by Ana Mano; Editing by Bernadette Baum