Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

The economic impact and the distribution of benefits and risk from the adoption of insect resistant (Bt) cotton in West Africa:

By Jose Falck-Zepeda, Daniela Horna and Melinda Smale


"Cotton is the largest source of export receipts of several West African countries. Statistics however show a decreasing tendency in cotton yields and an increasing tendency in pesticide use. Under this circumstances there appear to be potential payoffs from the use of biotechnology products in the farming systems of the region. In this study we estimate different scenarios for the potential deployment of insect resistant cotton in selected countries in West Africa (WA). We use an economic surplus model augmented with a more rigorous sensitivity analysis of model parameters. Hypothetical scenarios of Bt cotton adoption in WA are simulated and single point values of model parameters are substituted with probability distributions. The scenarios include: no adoption in WA; adoption of existing varieties; adoption of WA varieties backcrossed with private sector lines; and fluctuating adoption patterns. According to the simulations, the total net benefits of adopting Bt seem to be small even after including the innovator surplus who accrues a larger share of the benefits. In contrast the WA countries included in the evaluation are worse off if they decide no to adopt Bt cotton. These results are in part explained by the conservative assumptions taken. The adoption pattern and the length of the adoption period affect the share of benefits earned by producers as compared to innovators. This study provides tools and information that can be used to build greater confidence in the process of setting agricultural research investment priorities." from Authors' AbstractEconomic impacts, Bt-cotton, Economic surplus model, Economic surplus, Risk, Probability distributions, Impact assessment, Net benefits, biotechnology,

OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. (2007). 707. Policies to Promote Cereal Intensification in Ethiopia: A Review of Evidence and Experience. Derek Byerlee,
  2. (1998). A unified approach to sensitivity analysis in equilibrium displacement models,
  3. (1999). Adoption and impacts of improved maize production technology: A case study of the Ghana grains development project. Economic Program Paper. Mexico D.F.:
  4. (2006). Adoption of Bt cotton and impact variability: Insights from India.
  5. (2007). Agricultural Growth Linkages in Ethiopia: Estimates using Fixed and Flexible Price Models. Xinshen Diao, Belay Fekadu, Steven Haggblade, Alemayebu Seyoum Teffesse, Kessu Wamisbo, and Bingxin Yu,
  6. (2007). Agricultural Technology Choices for Poor Farmers in Less-Favored Areas of South and East Asia. John Pender,
  7. (2000). Agriculture in Tanzania since 1986: Follower or leader of growth. World Bank Country Study.
  8. (2003). Agronomics and sustainability of transgenic cotton in Argentina.
  9. (2002). An ex ante analysis of the benefits from the adoption of corn rootworm resistant transgenic corn technology.
  10. (2006). An exploration of the potential benefits of integrated pest management systems and the use of insect resistant potatoes to control the Guatemalan Tuber Moth (Tecia solanivora Povolny)
  11. (2006). Biosafety regulation of genetically modified orphan crops in developing countries: A way forward.
  12. (2003). Biotechnology as an alternative to chemical pesticides: a case study of Bt cotton in China.
  13. (2004). Biotechnology boots to crop productivity in China: trade and welfare implications.
  14. (2005). Bt cotton in KwaZulu Natal: Technological triumph but institutional failure.
  15. (2007). Building Public-Private Partnerships for Agricultural Innovation in Latin America. Suresh Babu,
  16. (2004). Burkina Faso Reducing poverty through sustained equitable growth. poverty assessment.
  17. (2004). Burkina Faso risk and vulnerability assessment.
  18. (1991). Chimanga Cha Makolo, hybrids, and composites: an analysis of farmer's adoption of maize technology
  19. (2006). Comparative analysis of the national biosafety regulatory systems
  20. (1998). Comparison of different strategies for cotton insect pest management in Africa.
  21. (2001). Cotton production and rural livelihoods in West Africa. Occasional Papers No 219.
  22. (2004). Cotton: Maker setting, trade policies, and issues. World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 3218. Washington D.C.: World Bank - Development Prospects Group.
  23. (2001). Crop protection compendium.
  24. (2002). Damage control productivity: An input damage abatement approach.
  25. (2003). Developing a regulatory package for insect tolerant potatoes for African farmers: projected data requirements for regulatory approval in South Africa. Paper presented a the symposium Strengthening Biosafety Capacity for Development
  26. (2005). Economic and social importance of cotton in West Africa: Role of cotton in regional development, trade and livelihoods.
  27. (2004). Economic costs of non-adoption of Bt-cotton in West Africa: with special reference to Mali.
  28. (2006). Economic Impact of Agricultural Biotechnology in the European Union: Transgenic Sugar Beet and Maize.
  29. (2004). Economic impacts of adopting GM crops in the United States.
  30. (2004). Estimating the impact of transgenic Bt cotton on West and Central Africa: A general equilibrium approach.
  31. (2004). First impact of biotechnology in the EU: Bt maize adoption in Spain.
  32. (2002). Global status of commercialized transgenic crops:
  33. (2007). Integrated Management of the Blue Nile Basin in Ethiopia: Hydropower and Irrigation
  34. (1997). Intellectual property rights and the welfare effects of agricultural R&D.
  35. (2007). Is Food Insecurity More Severe in South Asia or Sub-Saharan Africa?: A Comparative Analysis Using Household Expenditure Survey Data. Lisa
  36. (2007). Is HIV/AIDS Undermining Botswana’s ‘Success Story’? Implications for Development Strategy. James Thurlow,
  37. Is the Relationship Between Aid and Economic Growth Nonlinear?. Andros Kourtellos, Chih Ming Tan, and Xiaobo Zhang,
  38. (2005). Is West African cotton competitive with the U.S. on the world cotton market?. Paper presented at the Beltwide Cotton Conferences
  39. (2007). Managing Conflict over Natural Resources in Greater Kordofan, Sudan: Some Recurrent Patterns and Governance Implications. El Fatih Ali Siddig, Khalid El-Harizi, and Betinna
  40. (2006). Market information in the commodities area: Cotton chain,
  41. (1977). Market price effects of technical change on income distribution in semi-subsistence agriculture.
  42. (2007). Micro-Level Analysis of Farmers’ Adaptation to Climate Change in
  43. (2007). Mobility, and Schooling Outcomes Among Orphans: Evidence from Malawi. Mika Ueyama,
  44. (2006). Parables: Applied economics literature about the impact of genetically engineered crop varieties in developing economies. Environment and Production Technology Division.
  45. (1993). Peasant supply response and macroeconomic policies: cotton in Tanzania.
  46. (2001). Potential of threshold based interventions for cotton pest control by small farmers in West Africa.
  47. (2004). Preview: Global status of commercialized transgenic crops:
  48. (2006). Price formation and power relations in the cotton value chains of Mali, Burkina Faso, and Cote d’Ivoire. Urbana-Champaign:
  49. (2000). Probability distributions for economic surplus changes: the case of technical change in the Australian wool industry,
  50. (2002). Pyrethroid resistance mechanisms in the cotton bollworm Helicoverpa armigera from West Africa. Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology
  51. (2007). Quality Control in Non-Staple Food Markets: Evidence from India. Marcel Fafchamps,
  52. (2004). Reductions in insecticide use from adoption of Bt cotton in South Africa: Impacts one economic performance and toxic load to the environment.
  53. (2007). Resource Abundance and Regional Development in China. Xiaobo Zhang, Li Xing, Shenggen Fan, Xiaopeng Luo,
  54. (2007). Risk Aversion in Low Income Countries Experimental Evidence from Ethiopia. Mahmud Yesuf and Randy Bluffstone,
  55. (2000). Roundup Ready® Soybeans and welfare effects in the soybean complex.
  56. (2004). Science and poverty: an interdisciplinary assessment of the impact of agricultural research. Food Policy Report 16.
  57. (1995). Science under scarcity: Principles and practice for agricultural research evaluation and priority setting. Ithaca and London:
  58. (2007). Sistemas de Innovación Piscícola en la Amazonia Boliviana: Efectos de la Interacción Social y de las Capacidades de Absorción de los Pequeños Agricultores. Frank Hartwich, Vicente Eguez Camacho, Mario Monge, y Luis Ampuero Ramos,
  59. (2002). Socio-economic assessment of pesticide use in Mali. Special Issue Publication Series No.6. Hannover: Pesticide Policy Project.
  60. (2007). Spending and Poverty Reduction in an Oil-Based Economy: The Case of Yemen. Mohamed
  61. (2007). Subsidies, and Pro-Poor Growth in Rural India. Shenggen Fan, Ashok Gulati, and Sukhadeo Thorat,
  62. (2007). Supermarket Purchases and the Dietary Patterns of Households in Guatemala. Abay Asfaw,
  63. (2000). Surplus distribution from the introduction of a biotechnology innovation.
  64. (2001). Technical change in Senegal's irrigated sector: Impact assessment under uncertainty.
  65. (2007). The Bang for the Birr: Public Expenditures and Rural Welfare in Ethiopia. Tewodaj Mogues, Gezahegn Ayele, and Zelekawork Paulos,
  66. (2005). The cost of regulation: the India experience.
  67. (1999). The economics of agricultural R&D policy. In Paying for agricultural productivity,
  68. (2007). The Economics of GM Food Labels: An Evaluation of Mandatory Labeling Proposals in India. Sangeeta Bansal, Bharat Ramaswami,
  69. (2007). The Power Mapping Tool: A Method for the Empirical Research of Power Relations. Eva Schiffer,
  70. (2007). The Role of Clustering in Rural Industrialization:A Case Study of the Footwear Industry in Wenzhou. Zuhui Huang, Xiaobo Zhang, and Yunwei Zhu,
  71. (2002). The sensitivity of returns to research calculations to supply elasticity.
  72. (2003). Transformations in West African agriculture and the role of family farms.
  73. (2003). Transgenic cotton in Mexico: Economic and environmental impacts of the first generation of biotechnologies.
  74. (2005). Why Do Some Bt-cotton Farmers in China Continue to Use High Levels of Pesticides?

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.