World agriculture faces enormous challenges in the coming decades. To feed the world adequately in 2050, agricultural production in developing economies will need to nearly double. Incremental production will mainly come from increases in yields or cropping intensities. This paper focuses on the potential of genetically modified (GM) crops to contribute to agricultural productivity growth and poverty reduction in developing economies. Based on a comprehensive literature review, we aim to shed light on whether GM crops benefit farmers and are able to address their current and future needs. The first part reviews farmlevel impacts of GM crops in developing economies. The second part discusses the GM crop research pipeline. GM crop markets are expected to grow in the future, but not to change dramatically. We conclude that GM crops benefited farmers, including resource-poor farmers, in developing economies, but benefits are location and individual-specific. Addressing such complexities will be required to unlock technology potentials.