Monday, November 11, 2013

Paper "Agricultural Biotechnology, Intellectual Property Rights and Seed Industry in India" by Kunal Sinha of CSSP

Agricultural Biotechnology, Intellectual Property Rights and Seed Industry in India
by Vikas Kumar and Kunal Sinha
Asian Biotechnology and Development Review, Vol. 15 No.2, pp 61-79
Abstract: It is contended that while Green Revolution was led by public sector, Gene Revolution in agriculture is led by private sector. While increased emphasis on intellectual property rights protection over seeds and germplasm by the private sector, the seed industry dominated by private sector would deliver more of inputs like seeds and improved varieties that bring in more revenue. In this article we discuss the growth of agri-biotechnology in India and the changing profile of seed industry in cereal crops. We find that favourable policy frameworks and liberalisation have resulted in more investment by private sector in R&D for developing new varieties and seeds and this mirrors the trends elsewhere. While incentives are necessary for private sector to invest in R&D corresponding measures like effective competition policy are also required so that benefits of biotechnology reach small and medium farmers for whom affordability and accessibility of seed a key input is important. The challenge lies in harmonising commitments under WTO Agreements and Convention on Biological Diversity with effective measures that would make biotechnology based inputs affordable and accessible. Otherwise this may be a barrier in diffusion of agricultural biotechnology.

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