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MNE Led New Market Creation in Emerging Countries: The Case of Bt Cotton

Multinational Enterprises and Sustainable Development

ISBN: 978-1-78743-164-5, eISBN: 978-1-78743-163-8

Publication date: 25 September 2017


Agri-biotech multinational enterprises (MNEs) are persisting to push genetically modified plant varieties (GMV) worldwide including emerging countries as a technological solution for sustainable development. However, in emerging countries, the structure and effectiveness of regulation and compliance measures to ensure human and environmental safety are much less developed. There are three types of concerns: the economic risks faced by farmers while using existing low-yielding conventional seed varieties, in the face of inadequate institutional mechanisms and safety nets, the long-term environmental risks, and finally, risks posed by other possible externalities. In an attempt to provide some insight on the aforementioned debate, this chapter focuses on a commercially successful GMV—namely genetically modified cotton, also referred to as Bt cotton. The literature on adoption of Bt cotton is first examined, and its findings are confronted with the reality of the introduction and diffusion of Bt cotton in India to derive inferences on how MNE and emerging countries’ governments can manage coexistence. Our findings indicate that in order to be successful, MNEs have to establish the sociopolitical legitimacy of GMV through investment in outreach with regulatory authorities, government departments dealing with the environmental and bio safety, farmer groups, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). MNEs also have to keep in mind that pricing and high technology fee can become an impediment for the legitimization of technology. Finally, MNEs can partner with NGOs to educate and accompany farmers to maximize their livelihood, while preserving the ecological sustainability of their farm lands.



Ramani, S.V., Thutupalli, A., El-Aroui, M.-A. and Kumar, P. (2017), "MNE Led New Market Creation in Emerging Countries: The Case of Bt Cotton", Multinational Enterprises and Sustainable Development (International Business and Management, Vol. 33), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 131-150.



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