Note: This is a summary of the publication Taking stock of the genetically modified seed sector worldwide: market, stakeholders, and prices. A more detailed summary of the article from which this excerpted is presented here.
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.
In the last two decades, with the development of GM crops, a number of NGOs, media, citizens, elected officials and some farmers’ associations have expressed concerns about certain trends in the seed sector, including its concentration and the increase in seed prices, which could alter seed availability, affordability, utilisation and resilience for farmers and the public as a whole. Food security depends, inter alia, on seed security…
The analysis presented here has revealed strong heterogeneity in the seed sector… as well as its modest economic size within the overall food chain, especially compared to downstream processing and large-scale retailing. Despite the rapid growth and significant weight of the top agbiotech companies, the influence of downstream sectors on the food chain remains dominant… the economic weight of the seed industry remains small within the food chain. The downstream sectors act powerfully upon the entire food chain, notably through their requirements and their influence on consumption patterns, as well as on agricultural and food prices.
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