Maria de Fátima Quedas
Instituto Politécnico de Santarém, Portugal
Paula Cruz de Carvalho
Portuguese Ministry of Agriculture

Portugal is one of the few European Union countries that experience the “coexistence” of a coexistence legal framework with a regular coexistence practice. Since 2005, Bt maize crops have been grown in different regions—either in small or large farms—in compliance with a law that envisages coexistence procedures for either individual farmers or groups of farmers that agree to establish the so called “production zones.” The monitoring of Bt maize crops is annually run and reported by the Ministry of Agriculture. Here we report on the first quinquennium of coexistence in Portugal, bearing down on regional distribution and evolution, farm sizes, coexistence measures, GM farmers’ profile and their assessment of Bt crops and coexistence rules, and Bt maize destination. Opportunities and constraints are also pointed out.

Key words: Bt maize, coexistence, hectarage, production zones (PZs), regulation, segregation.