Area km2: 1,141,748

Population: 48,258,494

Capital: Bogota

ISO 3166: CO


Population density:
42.3 hab/km2

National flower:
Christmas orchid (Cattleya trianae)




Colombia is a country favored by its geographical location, which offers variety of climate regions, rich biodiversity, two oceans, drainage basins, and all year-round sunlight, all of which favors the development of an array of agricultural products throughout the year. Colombia’s main products are coffee, cacao, sugarcane, bananas, rice, maize, potato, cotton, oilseed crops and flowers, among others. Colombian coffee is regarded as the best mild coffee in the world and constitutes one of the main agricultural exports of the country, together with bananas and flowers. Colombia is also a significant producer of livestock (for beef and milk). Colombia’s agricultural imports are for the most part soybean and soybean pressed cake, maize and wheat.


 GM Crops


Does the country plant GM crops?
Does the country plant GM crops?
Area with GM crops in millions hectares
Area with GM crops in millions hectares


Percentage of each GM crop


 HT: herbicide-tolerant - IR: insect-resistant

Adoption of transgenic crops in the country  





   GM Flowers. Blue Carnation and rose:
Adoption rates are not calculated in the cases of seed production, niche market productos or molecular farming.

 HT: herbicide-tolerant - IR: insect-resistant
* of technified maize



Are there local developments?


Some examples of local developments

• Potato resistant to the Guatemalan potato moth, developed by the Corporación para Investigaciones Biológicas (CIB).

• Sugarcane resistant to the sugarcane yellow leaf virus, developed by the Centro de Investigación de la Caña de Azúcar de Colombia (CENICAÑA).

• Herbicide-tolerant soybean and insect-resistant maize, developed by the Universidad Nacional de Colombia.

• Sacha inchi and castor oil with high oleic acid content con alto contenido de ácido oleico, developed by the Universidad EAFIT.

• Disease-resistant rice, cassava and grass forages
, developed by the Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical (CIAT).






 Benefits of GM crops


In Colombia, maize is grown in two different production systems, traditional and technified. The traditional system is characterized by fields no larger than 5 ha, where native varieties are used, and sowing and tillage is done using the plow, hoe, and other tools. Hybrid seeds are not used in these systems. The technified system is characterized by fields larger than 5 ha, where technologies, such as mechanization, are used for soil preparation and planting. These systems also use improved seeds (including genetically modified ones), fertilization, chemically synthesized pesticides and irrigation. Since their adoption, transgenic crops have brought many benefits to Colombian technified agriculture, contributing to its profitability and sustainability. In particular, GM crop adoption resulted in increased yields for maize (+17%) and cotton (+30%) due to better management of insect pests and weeds. In addition, GM crops helped farmers to make a better use of pesticides both in cotton and in maize, thus reducing the amounts employed and consequentially, lessening the environmental impact of farming. Between 2003 and 2018, GM crops added 630,000 tons of maize and cotton fiber to Colombian production without the need to use more arable land.





For further information regarding benefits


• Genetically modified GM crop use in Colombia: farm level economic and environmental contributions. Brookes, G.(2020)

• GM crops: global socio-economic and environmental impacts 1996-2018. Brookes and Barfoot (2020a)

• GM crop technology use 1996-2018: farm income and production impacts. Brookes and Barfoot (2020c)

• Environmental impacts of genetically modified (GM) crop use 1996-2018: impacts on pesticide use and carbon emissions. Brookes and Barfoot (2020b)




 Regulation of GM crops

Brief description of the regulatory framework

Colombia regulates all GMO-related activities: laboratory research, confined activities, commercial planting and GMO imports. Three Technical Committees issue their recommendations to the relevant National Competent Authority regarding approval of applications for the performance of GMO-related activities. Recommendations are issued after the relevant Committee conducts the OGM biosafety risk assessment set forth in Decree 4525/2005, which regulates Act 740/2002. The three Committees cover the different uses of GMOs: 

• The National Technical Biosafety Committee for GMO use in agriculture, livestock, fisheries, commercial forestry plantations and agroindustry.

• The National Technical Biosafety Committee for GMO use exclusively for environmental purposes.

• The National Technical Biosafety Committee for GMO use exclusively in health and human consumption.



 GM animals


Does the country produce GM animals?


For the time being, the country does not commercially produce GM animals.


Brief description of the regulatory framework for GM animals

The Colombian regulatory framework allows for the possibility to carry out trials with and commercially produce transgenic animals, even though to this date no specific regulations have been enacted for that purpose.




Are there local developments?


For the time being, there are no local developments of GM Animals in advanced stages.




 Multilateral Fora


Colombia is member/party of: