*This page was produced as part of an assignment for an undergraduate course at Davidson College*

GM Crops: A Farmer's Dream?


Conferring Resistance





Increased Profit Margin

Land Use


Poor Farmers vs.  Rich Farmers

Cultural Backlash


Works Cited



In roughly 50 years, the world's population will be approximately 9 billion and the demand on farming will be increased two and a half fold (Africa News Service, 2003).  Farmers are struggling to keep up with the increasing demand but sadly, according to most of the current literature, it is a losing battle (Africa News Service, 2003).  Not only are farmers struggling to keep up but it is a widely known fact that the amount of practicing farmers in the food producing countries of the world is exponentially decreasing.  Indeed, the situation is perhaps even more dire with farmers in smaller countries where a poor harvest means that they and their families do not eat.  It is a fact that in India, 10,000 small farmers have committed suicide in the last ten years due to their poor harvests (Africa News Service, 2003). 

Why are farmers suffering so?  The answer is simple, the ancient enemies of modern agriculture that have existed since time began continue to ravage sensitive food crops each day.  Blight, insects, cold, heat, and salinity, to name a few, have existed as long as the agriculture industry has.  As is often the case, science has been invoked in aiding farmers in this struggle and among the most potent of weapons that science has formulated is genetic modification.  Biotechnology and genetic modification have provided farmers with several possibilities with which to fortify their crops against these antagonists.  Though genetic modification has proven to be a powerful tool for farmers, it does not come without its drawbacks.  The question that we will attempt to answer here is simply "Are GM (genetically modified) crops a benefit or detriment to farmers?"  Here you will find an analysis of the different types of research and applications of genetic modification in both a conventional and biotechnological sense.  Additionally, we highlight some of the ramifications of this newly developed technology for good and for bad.  It is only after one is presented with the facts that one can make a decision and this website is an attempt at just this kind of education. 


*Permission Pending* (Ag Tours, 2003)

Click here for links to our final papers on the subject of GM crops and the farmer.

Questions or comments can be directed to  matalbert@davidson.edu

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Page maintained by Matt Talbert, Nicole Hesson, and Sarah Parker

Last modified April 2004