Inderscience Publishers

How biotechnology is changing the structure of the seed industry

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The seed industry has been in a state of restructuring for many years now. New firms have entered the industry and old players have merged. Firms from various backgrounds now compete in supplying seed to agriculture and horticulture traditional seed companies, new biotechnology firms, agrochemical companies, food processors and wholesalers/retailers. As biotechnology enables the enhancement of various quality attributes of agricultural products, downstream companies in the agrifood industry have become interested in co-deciding on plant breeding goals. Advances in plant biotechnology lead to more integrated agrifood chains. Access to proprietary genes and technology is essential for developing and commercialising genetically modified varieties. Dispute and uncertainty over intellectual property rights have induced mergers, take-overs and strategic alliances.

Keywords: plant biotechnology, seed industry, agrochemical industry, firm strategies

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