China’s GM crops can hit 85% market penetration in 3-5 years, says Dabeinong

BEIJING (Reuters) – The market penetration of genetically modified crops in China could reach 85% within three-to-five years once the industry is fully commercialised, GMO developer Beijing Dabeinong Technology said.

Dabeinong said its forecast is based on the experience in the United States, Brazil and Argentina, where GM corn, soybeans and wheat are widely planted.

China, long cautious about GM technology, has opened up to commercial planting of GM corn and soybeans this year, granting seed breeding and sales licenses to 26 companies in certain provinces.

“GMO will enter a new stage of market-oriented industrialisation in 2024,” Dabeinong, which received a license, said in a filing.

Dabeinong said it has first-mover advantage in the GM seeds market after three years of pilot programmes.

It said it will promote the integration of the traditional seed industry with biological breeding.

China has so far approved 37 corn varieties and 14 soybean varieties, including high-oil and high-yielding traits.

Commercial planting of GMO varieties will boost yields in the world’s biggest buyer of soybeans and corn, contributing to its food security goals of higher output and lower reliance on imports.

But analysts expect Beijing to continue to tightly control GM planting and for the roll out to be slow.

(Reporting by Mei Mei Chu; Editing by Sharon Singleton)