Taking Stock of the Genetically Modified Seed Sector Worldwide: Market, Stakeholders, and Prices.
Food Security 4(6), August 2014, pp. 525-540. DOI:10.1007/s12571-014-0357-1
Posted: 22 Aug 2014
Date Written: March 20, 2014
The seed sector has become a subject of attention, debate, and even controversy with the development of genetically modified (GM) crops. However, this sector is generally rather poorly known. A new paper aims to take stock of the economy of GM seeds in order to better understand the structure of this seed sector, its size, stakeholders, pricing, and major trends. The global market of the various types of seeds (saved, conventional, and transgenic) is first presented, as well as some aspects of their development, such as in particular the significant consolidation in the past few decades. Next, the economic characteristics of the transgenic seed sector are analysed: actors, research and development expenditures, and the value of technology fees. In the final section, the cost of transgenic seeds is studied at the farm level, notably through the case of soybeans in the United States. The rise in transgenic seed prices over time is analysed as well as some repercussions of the growing trend toward the use of stacked traits. The conclusion highlights some issues related to the use of transgenic seeds from the point of view of seed and food security.
Keywords: GMO, Genetically modified seed, Transgenic crop, Seed industry, Seed sector, Seed company, Concentration/consolidation, Technology fee, Seed costs, Pesticide, Herbicide, Agrochemicals, Price, Farmer, Controversy, Economics, Genetically modified food, Agriculture.
JEL Classification: Q10, Q12, Q13, Q16, Q80, L2, L65, O3
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation