Keywords: agricultural R&, D, innovation, diffusion, developing countries
Genetic Use Restriction Technologies (GURTs): impacts on developing countries
This paper sets out the potential impacts of GURTs on various developing countries. The impact on any country depends on a number of important factors existing biotechnology capability, capacity for developing biotechnology, and the country's suitability for planting non-hybridised modern varieties. For a large group of developing countries the potential impact from GURTs will be dependent on the impact of these technologies on the rate of diffusion of innovation from countries that possess biotechnological capabilities to those countries that do not. This is necessarily an empirical question, because there are two important effects that are countervailing the impact of GURTs on the general rate of innovation and the impact of GURTs on the rate of diffusion between countries. To address this question, a case study is constructed assessing the impact of hybridised varieties on the diffusion of innovation within maize production. This case study indicates that hybridisation as a URT has slowed the overall rate of diffusion of innovation to many developing countries. When GURTs are introduced it will be important to increase public spending for diffusion of innovations to continue.