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World agriculture faces enormous challenges in the coming decades. To feed the world adequately in 2050, agricultural production in developing economies will need to…
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 chapter focuses on the potential of genetically modified (GM) crops to contribute to agricultural productivity growth and poverty reduction in developing economies. On the basis of a comprehensive literature review of the most recent literature, we aim to shed light on (a) whether GM crops benefit farmers in developing economies and (b) whether GM crops that are currently in the research pipeline address future challenges for agriculture. The first part of the chapter reviews farm-level 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.
The widespread introduction of genetically modified (GM) crops may change the effect of agriculture on the environment. The magnitude and direction of expected effects are…
The widespread introduction of genetically modified (GM) crops may change the effect of agriculture on the environment. The magnitude and direction of expected effects are still being hotly debated, and the interests served in this discussion arena are often far from those of science and social welfare maximization. This chapter proposes that GM crops have net positive environmental effects, while regulatory responses focus mainly on environmental concerns, giving an unbalanced picture of the regulatory context. This unbalance supports the hypothesis that environmental concerns about GM crops have been politically instrumentalized and that more attention should be paid to regulatory responses considering the environmental benefits of this technology. It is also argued that a number of environmental effects have not yet been quantified and more research is needed in this direction.
Two major regulatory regimes for planting of genetically modified (GM) crops have emerged: one where the property rights for growing GM crops are mainly with the GM farmer…
Two major regulatory regimes for planting of genetically modified (GM) crops have emerged: one where the property rights for growing GM crops are mainly with the GM farmer and another where the property rights are mainly with the non-GM farmer. In this contribution, the regulatory model chosen by Canada and the United States is compared with that of the EU and its variants, analyzed from an efficiency point of view. While the general view in the literature on ex-ante regulation versus ex-post liability rules under uncertainty holds that the most efficient regulatory regime depends on the specific case under investigation, we have investigated the analytical conditions for one or the other regulatory system to be more efficient, concluding that the property rights systems are almost equivalent, so long as transaction costs are not prohibitively high and using the court system is costless. As using the court system is not cost free, however, we hold that property rights regimes where the GM farmer is not liable are preferable from a social welfare point of view.
The purpose of this paper is to examine the potential economic impacts of China’s insect-resistant GM maize and provide new evidence for decision making concerning its…
The purpose of this paper is to examine the potential economic impacts of China’s insect-resistant GM maize and provide new evidence for decision making concerning its commercialization.
This study uses data drawn from the production trials of insect-resistant GM maize and expert interviews to determine the impacts of commercializing GM maize at farm level under three scenarios with varying severity of insect pest attacks in maize production. Economic impacts are simulated using a modified Global Trade Analysis Project model.
In farm terms, insect-resistant GM maize increases crop yield and reduces both pesticide and labor inputs. In national terms, China can increase its GDP by USD8.6 billion and maize self-sufficiency by about 2 percent given normal insect pest attacks if China commercializes GM maize. Additional beneficiaries include consumers and the livestock industry. Non-maize crops can also benefit from land saving through GM maize commercialization. Chemical is a sector with the decrease in its output because demand for pesticides will fall.
Although China has announced a roadmap for commercializing GM crops for use as feed and in processing after nearly two decades of producing GM cotton, no clear timetable for producing GM maize as feed has been established due to several concerns, including the potential for economic gains from GM maize. This study is the first to assess the economic impacts of commercializing China’s GM maize. The findings should have significant policy implications for the development and commercialization of GM crops in general and GM maize in particular.
Agri-biotech multinational enterprises (MNEs) are persisting to push genetically modified plant varieties (GMV) worldwide including emerging countries as a technological…
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.
Public and private policy responses to the introduction of genetically modified (GM) crops have differed across countries and regions, resulting in market fragmentation…
Public and private policy responses to the introduction of genetically modified (GM) crops have differed across countries and regions, resulting in market fragmentation that is in conflict with the entry mode strategy of standardisation that has dominated the food distribution system for a century. To deal with the new market reality, an alternative entry mode strategy must be established which is capable of segregation – or identity preservation (IP) – of the commodity supply system. A multi‐mode strategy is presented that combines the economic transaction cost perspective with the institutional theory perspective. A seemingly paradoxical result emerges: standardisation is the solution to market differentiation. That is, an IP entry mode strategy must first be built on a foundation of standardised norms and protocols, which then makes it easier to target specific entry mode strategies to meet the divergent export market access rules resulting from the differential public policy and private strategies in various countries and regions.
Since the 1980s agricultural biotech investments by the public sector have increased substantially in both China and India. In the last two decades there has also been a…
Since the 1980s agricultural biotech investments by the public sector have increased substantially in both China and India. In the last two decades there has also been a dramatic increase in private section investment in agricultural biotechnology particularly in India. The promise of major benefits of Bt cotton identified in early socioeconomic studies of Bt cotton has proven to be true. Bt cotton has spread to at least 66% and 85% of total cotton areas of China and India, respectively – wherever bollworm is a major problem. Bt cotton continues to control bollworm in both countries, and farmers continue as major beneficiaries rather than biotech or seed companies. The major impacts have been yield increases in India and reduced pesticides consumption in China. In China, evidence also suggests that Bt cotton has suppressed the bollworm population so that non-Bt cotton growers and producers of other crops that are susceptible to bollworm are also benefitting.
The chapter also provides evidence that in the near future Bt rice and Bt eggplant could have major positive impacts by reducing pesticide use and farmers’ exposure to chemical pesticides and increasing yields. Both crops were approved for commercial production by government biosafety regulators, but are not yet available for commercial cultivation.
The application of modern biotechnology to crop and food production is one of the most significant technological advances to impact modern agriculture. Barely a dozen years since their introduction, genetically modified (GM) crops are currently grown on more than 300 million acres worldwide. GM (or transgenic) crops are produced using plant biotechnology to select desirable characteristics in plants and transfer genes from one organism to another. As a result, crops can survive under harsher conditions, costs are lowered, and yields are improved. Scientists are introducing genes into plants that will give the plants resistance to herbicides, insects, disease, drought, and salt in the soil. Crop research in bioengineering is also aimed at improving the nutritional quality of food, such as providing healthier vegetable oils. Pharmaceutical and industrial crops (or “pharma” crops) are also on the horizon, with the potential to dramatically reduce drug production costs. Compared to traditional plant breeding, biotechnology can produce new varieties of plants more quickly and efficiently, and it can introduce desirable traits into plants that could not be established through conventional plant breeding techniques.