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Book part
Publication date: 15 July 2017

Crina Viju, Stuart J. Smyth and William A. Kerr

Strong evidence has shown that increased agricultural productivity and opened international trade are required to maintain and enhance food security. The multilateral…

Abstract

Strong evidence has shown that increased agricultural productivity and opened international trade are required to maintain and enhance food security. The multilateral trading system has been unable to keep trade open for one subset of agricultural products – those that use biotechnology in production. This chapter assesses whether preferential trade agreements can represent potential alternative sources of trade rules for dealing with trade in the products of biotechnology. This chapter analyzes and compares three case studies of preferential trade agreements (Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, and Trans-Pacific Partnership), by focusing on negotiations pertaining to products of biotechnology. The three preferential trade agreements have shown little inventiveness in their attempts to put in place rules of trade for the products of modern agricultural biotechnology and have established forums where only issues can be discussed. They are forums to talk and talk without any means to force closure on negotiations. Given the inability to deal with the issue of biotechnology at the WTO or other multilateral forums, the recent and current negotiations of major preferential agreements represent the second best alternative which still needs to be analyzed and still needs to be understood by policy makers, academics, and the population at large. This chapter represents a first step in that direction.

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World Agricultural Resources and Food Security
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-515-3

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Article
Publication date: 4 September 2017

Yanhong Jin, Yahong Hu, Carl Pray and Ruifa Hu

The Chinese Government has used a number of policies to encourage commercial agribusiness firms to do more innovation. These include public sector agricultural research…

Abstract

Purpose

The Chinese Government has used a number of policies to encourage commercial agribusiness firms to do more innovation. These include public sector agricultural research and development (R&D), public sector biotechnology research and innovation, subsidies for commercial research, encouraging foreign firms to invest in China as minority shareholders in joint ventures, and allowing commercial companies to raise money on the stock market. The purpose of this paper is to assess whether these policies were effective in stimulating innovations by commercial firms in China.

Design/methodology/approach

This study estimates the impact of public biotech research and other policies by employing an econometric model of patenting by commercial firms. It uses a unique data set collected from commercial agribusiness firms for the years 2001, 2004, 2005, and 2006. Addition data were collected from public research institutes and universities and patent data from the Derwent Innovations Index database. It employs four count data models for the empirical analysis.

Findings

This study finds a positive impact of public biotechnology (measured by the number of biotech patents of government research institutes and public universities) on commercial innovation measured by the number of patents granted to the commercial firms. As expected the firm’s research expenditure and having their own R&D center (as opposed to contracting R&D or no R&D investment at all) have a positive and statistically significant effect on the number of patents granted. The impacts of public R&D investment spending have no statistically significant effect on commercial innovation. Multi-national firms and publicly traded firms have fewer patents than their counterparts suggesting that policies to encourage multi-nationals and financing through stock markets had no impact on innovation.

Originality/value

This study is one of the first studies to untangle the relationship between government policies and innovation by commercial agricultural research output and public R&D investment and biotechnology. The main findings suggest that simply increasing research money to public research does not increase commercial innovations, but moving resources to the development patentable biotech does improve commercial research productivity. The results also suggest that policies to increase commercial research will also increase innovation. These could include strengthening the legal framework and institutional resources for public institutes to the protection and enforcement of intellectual properties.

Details

China Agricultural Economic Review, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-137X

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Article
Publication date: 4 September 2017

Derek Gerald Brewin and Stavroula Malla

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impacts of changing biotechnology and intellectual property rights (IPRs), institutions, and policies for Canadian crop…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impacts of changing biotechnology and intellectual property rights (IPRs), institutions, and policies for Canadian crop development related to oilseed rape or “canola” as a case study. Implications for China as it considers regulatory and institutional change related to private sector incentives to invest in biotechnology are also discussed.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors assess the effects of introducing biotechnology and IPRs in the Canadian oilseed sector over time. Data on the rate of return on agricultural research in general are presented and then the focus moves to the impacts for farmers in Canada. New data are gathered to estimate recent gains in the benefit of biotechnology advancements for farmers. Furthermore, the evolution of agricultural research in China is briefly presented, and a discussion follows that considers Canadian evidence and the possible applicability of the impacts to China.

Findings

The results support earlier studies identifying gains from agricultural research and show that private sector investments in Canada are now much higher than public sector investments and thus institutional innovations have been a powerful trigger to improve productivity. The gains from biotechnology for farmers are now over CND 1 billion per year in Canada.

Research limitations/implications

The research gains measured are for Canada so should be applied to China’s situation only as a potential for gains.

Practical implications

While more work is needed to identify reasonable institutional incentives to generate private investment in China’s biotechnology industry, the potential impact in the Canadian canola sector highlights the importance of continuing the investment in biotechnology, and the need for appropriate policies and regulations to spur private investment.

Social implications

Biotechnology greatly improved the welfare of farmers in Canada. Much of the gain the authors find was in improved yields and lower herbicide costs that improved farmer profits. Privatization of breeding was a key step in this transformation.

Originality/value

The paper contributes an updated review of Canadian intellectual property institutions related to biotechnology, and an updated measure of gains at the farm level. It also begins the analysis of the applicability of these institutional changes for China.

Details

China Agricultural Economic Review, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-137X

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Article
Publication date: 13 September 2011

Lekha Laxman and Abdul Haseeb Ansari

This paper seeks to provide an in‐depth discussion on the impact of agricultural biotechnology in developing and least developed countries (LDCs) as well as the…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to provide an in‐depth discussion on the impact of agricultural biotechnology in developing and least developed countries (LDCs) as well as the concomitant biosafety concerns that might have an impact on trade and the environment whilst highlighting the importance of choosing development pathways that are conducive to the specific needs of these nations without endangering the biodiversity and affecting people's health.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper adopts a socio‐legal approach by undertaking a content analysis of decided cases, relevant treaties and existing studies conducted in areas related to agricultural biotechnology within the framework of sustainable development imperatives.

Findings

The paper suggests that developing countries venturing into agricultural biotechnology need to enrich the technology according to their needs and capabilities in order to be able to weigh the benefits against the risks in the production and import of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) specifically via the implementation of the “precautionary principle” and viable “risk assessment” techniques which conform to their existing international law obligations in view of the findings that most of these nations have not formulated adequate legal and institutional frameworks supported with the necessary expertise to regulate, monitor, and ensure safety of agricultural GMOs produced and/or imported by them.

Practical implications

The issues and suggestions in this paper will enable the development process of developing and least developed economies to conform to the tenets of sustainable development and minimize the loss of Earth's biodiversity.

Originality/value

The paper is of practical use to stakeholders and policymakers alike venturing into agricultural biotechnology. It pools the findings of a cross‐section of studies to look at the implications therein and the arising biosafety and trade issues with special reference to developing and LDCs.

Details

Journal of International Trade Law and Policy, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-0024

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Book part
Publication date: 25 July 2011

Steven E. Sexton and David Zilberman

Purpose – To identify how agricultural biotechnology addresses the two challenges facing agriculture: to feed a world growing to 9 billion people by 2050 and to provide a…

Abstract

Purpose – To identify how agricultural biotechnology addresses the two challenges facing agriculture: to feed a world growing to 9 billion people by 2050 and to provide a liquid fuel alternative to petroleum.

Design –This chapter relies on econometric modeling, a review of existing literature, and diagrammatic modeling to articulate the impact of agricultural biotechnology on food and energy markets.

Findings –Agricultural biotechnology reduces the tension between food security and biofuel production. It reduces volatility in food and fuel markets and can mitigate risk to biofuel processors.

Originality – The analysis is original although it relies on previous research to some extent. The analysis is compared to and contrasted with related work.

Details

Genetically Modified Food and Global Welfare
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-758-2

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Article
Publication date: 4 September 2017

Haiyan Deng, Ruifa Hu, Jikun Huang, Carl Pray, Yanhong Jin and Zhonghua Li

Economic interest groups such as seed, pesticide, feed, and food companies play an important role in supporting or preventing the production of genetically modified (GM…

Abstract

Purpose

Economic interest groups such as seed, pesticide, feed, and food companies play an important role in supporting or preventing the production of genetically modified (GM) crops. The purpose of this paper is to examine firm managers’ attitudes toward GM technology, biotechnology R&D investment, and political lobbying activities.

Design/methodology/approach

Using data from surveys of 160 managers in the food, feed, chemical, and seed industries in 2013-2014, this paper employed three probit models to examine the determinants of managers’ attitudes, biotechnology R&D investment, and lobbying activities.

Findings

The results show that most Chinese agribusiness managers are concerned about GM foods and oppose its adoption. Nevertheless, one-third of the firms invest in biotechnology R&D and less than 15 percent of managers lobbied the government to change biotechnology policies. The econometric estimation results suggest that profit change expectation is the main factor affecting managers’ attitudes and biotechnology R&D investment decisions, whereas lobbying activities are significantly influenced by their attitudes and biotechnology R&D investment. In addition, managers’ attitudes toward GM foods also significantly influence firms’ decisions to invest in biotechnology R&D.

Originality/value

This paper has improved on previous research in two ways. First, it analyses the determinants of agribusiness firm managers’ attitudes toward GM technology, biotechnology R&D investment, and lobbying activities. Second, the methodology involves an analysis of agribusiness firm survey data in the food, feed, chemical, and seed industries, which is the first time to use such data to research on economic interest group in agricultural biotechnology field.

Details

China Agricultural Economic Review, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-137X

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Article
Publication date: 31 December 2010

Siham El‐Kafafi and Stephen Liddle

It is argued that as the planets conventional natural resources are consumed, it has a profound effect on society and the environment. In order to maintain current levels…

Abstract

It is argued that as the planets conventional natural resources are consumed, it has a profound effect on society and the environment. In order to maintain current levels of lifestyle, help solve some of the developing nation’s problems and ultimately survive, the world will look more to technology and science for the answers and this will call for partnerships that deliver new approaches and science‐based innovations (Teresko, 2006). This research is a part of a bigger study investigating the determinants of innovation in the New Zealand biotechnology sector. This paper discusses business innovation in general and how it could contribute to sustainable development across several key areas like agriculture, biotechnology, consumer products, energy and life sciences. To provide a link between business innovation and sustainability, the research paper explores trends across the following concepts: social expectations of innovation in the biotechnology field, innovations versus sustainability, sustainable agricultural biotechnology, and sustainable industry practices in the biotechnology field. Finally the paper provides some tentative ideas of the conditions required for business innovation to make a constructive contribution to sustainability.

Details

World Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development, vol. 6 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-5961

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Article
Publication date: 11 September 2017

Anna Grebenyuk and Nikolai Ravin

To define strategic directions for the Russia’s social, economic, scientific and technological development in 2011-2013, a large-scale foresight study including the deep…

Abstract

Purpose

To define strategic directions for the Russia’s social, economic, scientific and technological development in 2011-2013, a large-scale foresight study including the deep analysis of prospects of biotechnology development there was undertaken (Russia 2030: Science and Technology Foresight). This paper aims to present results of this research.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was based on a combination of technology-push and market-pull approaches that aimed not only to identify most promising science and technology (S&T) areas but also to understand how they can be realized in practice. Representatives from federal authorities, science and business were involved in the project to create future visions of technological directions; analyze grand challenges, weak signals and wild cards; and set research and development (R&D) priorities.

Findings

According to results of the study, Russia has a potential for biotech sector development, although the level of R&D in the majority of areas is lagging behind that in the USA and leading EU countries. However, there are several advanced applied research areas where efforts can be focused. Among them are high-performance genomics and post-genomics research platforms, systems and structural biology, microbial metabolic engineering, plant biotechnology and microbial strains and consortia for development of symbiotic plant–microbial communities.

Originality/value

Concentration of available resources of government and business on biotechnological sector development can help to find answers for challenges that Russia faces today or will face tomorrow. It will help to pick up on the current level of research activities, improve the quality of personnel training, make this area the engine of the economy and carry out the so-called new industrialization of the country, building a new, high-tech device industry.

Details

foresight, vol. 19 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

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Book part
Publication date: 25 July 2011

Robert W. Herdt and Rebecca Nelson

The products of transgenic technology have captured the attention of enthusiasts and detractors, but transgenics are just one tool of agricultural biotechnology. Other…

Abstract

The products of transgenic technology have captured the attention of enthusiasts and detractors, but transgenics are just one tool of agricultural biotechnology. Other applications enable scientists to understand biodiversity, to track genes through generations in breeding programs, and to move genes among closely related as well as unrelated organisms. These applications all have the potential to lead to substantial productivity gains.

In this chapter we provide an introduction to basic plant genetic concepts, defining molecular markers, transgenic and cisgenic techniques. We briefly summarize the status of commercialized biotechnology applications to agriculture. We consider the likely future commercialization of products like drought tolerant crops, crops designed to improve human nutrition, pharmaceuticals from transgenic plants, biofuels, and crops for environmental remediation. We identify genomic selection as a potentially powerful new technique and conclude with our reflections on the state of agricultural biotechnology.

Research at universities and other public-sector institutions, largely focused on advancing knowledge, has aroused enormous optimism about the promise of these DNA-based technologies. This in turn has led to large private-sector investments on maize, soybean, canola, and cotton, with wide adoption of the research products in about eight countries. Much has been made of the potential of biotechnology to address food needs in the low-income countries, and China, India, and Brazil have large public DNA-based crop variety development efforts. But other lower income developing countries have little capability to use these tools, even the most straightforward marker applications. Ensuring that these and other applications of biotechnology lead to products that are well adapted to local agriculture requires adaptive research capacity that is lacking in the lowest income, most food-insecure nations. We are less optimistic than many others that private research will fund these needs.

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Book part
Publication date: 25 July 2011

Abstract

Details

Genetically Modified Food and Global Welfare
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-758-2

1 – 10 of over 2000