Keywords: Bt-cotton, West Africa, yield advantage, cost advantage, ex-ante analysis, agricultural biotechnology, developing countries, Mali, pesticide reduction
Economic cost of non-adoption of Bt-cotton in West Africa: with special reference to Mali
A major public policy issue in West Africa is whether or not, and how, to introduce Bt-cotton in the region. The implications of non-adoption may be more significant than, for example, the issues often raised concerning cotton subsidies in advanced countries. This paper provides estimates of the potential benefits from Bt-cotton if introduced in West Africa. Our analysis shows significant farm-level benefits. Aggregate benefits depend on adoption rate and yield advantage of Bt-cotton. These range from a low of US$7 million to a high of US$67 million in Mali; US$4 million to US$41 million in Burkina Faso; US$5 million to US$52 million in Benin; US$4 million to US$38 million in Cote d'Ivoire; and, US$1 million to US$7 million in Senegal. The reduction in insecticide use is an added environmental benefit. Non-adoption of Bt-cotton in the region will ultimately result in non-competitiveness in the world market.