Vietnam to import GM corn varieties to boost yield

corn-vietnam-GMThe country has to import nine million tonnes of maize for feed production annually. (Image source: Waytru/Flickr)Vietnam’s Agriculture Ministry has approved the import of four corn varieties in August 2015

The Ministry hopes that new corn varieties could yield production by 50 per cent by 2020.

The four varieties of genetically modified (GM) corn approved in the country are MON89034 and NK603 from DeKalb Vietnam, a subsidiary of Monsanto, and Syngenta’s GA21 and MIR162. Approval of MR162 is currently under consideration.

The Vietnamese government had formulated a plan in 2006 to develop GM crops as part of a major programme for the development and application of biotechnology in agriculture and rural development.

The country is looking to harvest its first GM crops by 2015 and have 30-50 per cent of the country’s farmland covered with GM crops by 2020.

The Asia-Pacific region has the largest corn growing area, but productivity is often low. In Vietnam, maize fields have an average yield of 4.3 tonnes per ha, VNS reported.

The country has to import nine million tonnes of maize for feed production annually. According to predictions, more than US$1bn will be spent to import about 4.5mn tonnes of corn from now until the end of this year.

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