Transgenics Produce a Return of up to US$ 3.59 for Every US$ 1 Invested in Seed

According to a study by Celeres and ABRASEM, the benefits reach all growers

Apr 12, 2012, 17:23 ET from ABRASEM

SAO PAULO, April 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- A new study by consulting firm Celeres for the Brazilian Seed and Seedling Association (ABRASEM) on the impact of genetically modified seed on Brazilian farms found one more advantage for farmers who opt for genetically modified (GM) seed. According to the study, in 2011, for every US$ 1 invested in biotechnology in the bag of seed, Brazilian farmers obtained an incremental return that averaged US$ 2.61 for corn, US$ 1.59 for soy and US$ 3.59 for cotton.

See the info-chart created to highlight some of the study conclusions

See the info-chart showing how much technology is contained in a seed

"For the first time we are able to calculate the increase in the operating margin of the farm output. As a result, we were able to translate the economic advantages to a reality that is much closer to the Brazilian farmer," says Anderson Galvao, CEO at Celeres and the coordinator of the economic study.

According to ABRASEM chairman Narciso Barison Neto, who is also an agricultural engineer and farmer, having this type of study as a support for making decisions provides a valuable element of differentiation for the competitiveness of Brazil's farmers. "Given the need to feed a world population that will soon pass the 10 billion mark, it is essential that Brazil consolidate its position as the world's silo. To increase output without opening up new farmland, the most logical path is to invest in agricultural biotechnology" he says.

Read the full report on the economic benefits

Read the full report on the socio-environmental benefits

Environmental benefits

The study, which analyzed the results for Brazil between 1997 and 2011, and projected these same numbers over a 10 year period, also assessed the benefits of biotechnology for the environment and the sustainability of Brazil's agribusiness. According to the study, the decrease in the amount of water used because fewer applications of agricultural chemicals are required, and because of varieties that are more resistant to pests, for example, could avoid the use of 149 billion liters of water over the next 10 years. This is enough to supply 3.4 million people.

Fewer applications of agricultural chemicals use for crops over this same period mean 3.8 million tons of CO2 that would not be emitted into the atmosphere. Fuel saving is also significant, equivalent to the fuel required to fill 516 thousand pickup trucks (the most common type of farm vehicle).

"Agriculture has an impact on the environment, and it is important to measure how biotechnology can help reduce this impact over the medium and long term, and how to make agribusiness increasingly sustainable," says Paula Carneiro, a director of Celeres Ambiental and the coordinator of the socio-environmental study.

Support for farmer decision making

In addition to sponsoring the study, ABRASEM plans to disseminate the study conclusions to all Brazilian farmers. "We must foster the use of all types of technology in Brazilian agriculture" says Barison. According to him, the study will support farmers in their decision making.

Celeres analysis showed that, in 10 years, biotechnology will yield an aggregate amount of US$ 124 billion for Brazilian agriculture. "But more important than that is to show that 84% of this will remain in the pockets of Brazil's farmers," says ABRASEM's chairman. "We can become more competitive, produce more, reduce the environmental impact and still make more money."

Celeres' Galvao explained that, of the US$ 124 billion, 58% will come from corn, 34% from soy and 8% from cotton. "In fact, GM corn in Brazil is perhaps the most successful example of the use of biotechnology in the world. It took only four harvests for GM corn to reach the same level of penetration (three fourths of the area planted) as GM soy reached in 10 years." According to Galvao, farm area planted with biotechnology increased 10% worldwide in 2010, but the use of biotechnology grows at a faster rate than that in Brazil.

Study reaches its fifth edition

This is the fifth edition of the study, which tracks the advantages of biotechnology for Brazilian farming; it has been published by ABRASEM every year since 2008. The analysis is split between the economic benefits, which is handled by Celeres, and the socio-environmental benefits, handled by Celeres Ambiental. The results are based on field research and interviews with over 360 soy, corn and cotton farmers all over the Country. These are the three crops with approved GM events in Brazil and already available in the market.

This study has always consolidated the accumulated benefits for the country, and this year decided to bring these results closer to the day-to-day activities of farmers. "Measuring the total gain for the nation is interesting from an economic point of view, but what farmers are really interested in is the money in their pockets," says Galvao.

Check last year's study at

About Celeres

Specialized in agricultural economics and headquartered in Uberlandia, MG, since 2002 Celeres has offered market intelligence, investment advisory, strategic consulting and rural planning services. Its consultants are frequent sources for the press, and always strive to translate trends in the field for the national market. Since creating Celeres Ambiental in 2007, which focuses on environmental studies and projects, and Celeres Farm Services in 2010, in the area of technology management, The Celeres Group is among the most highly respected agribusiness strategy analysis consulting firms in Brazil. Please see


ABRASEM, the Brazilian Seed and Seedling Association represents the various segments of the seed and seedling industry in Brazil, from early in the farm production cycle, taking technical services to farmers that are supported on research and development of new varieties of plants that are better adapted to the different geographic conditions in Brazil. Established in 1972, ABRASEM combines 12 seed and seedling grower associations, 126 labs, 332 processing units, 1,200 storage units and the research segment (obtainers). The association has 620 grower members, 4.4 thousand technicians and 16.6 thousand sales persons, and creates 220 thousand direct and indirect jobs. Visit

Bruno Viecili
Barcelona Solucoes Corporativas