Global hunger and how agricultural biotechnology firms can profit by giving away technology


New research from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln shows that agricultural biotechnology companies can do well by doing good.

Agricultural economists Konstantinos Giannakas and Amalia Yiannaka found that companies can profit by lowering the price of genetic-modification technology in hunger-stricken areas when consumers associate this technology with reducing malnutrition and hunger.

“When a company develops a new innovation, such as a new seed trait, a common assumption is that the company should exercise market power in order to maximize profits,” said Giannakas, Harold W. Eberhard Distinguished Professor of Agricultural Economics. “However, our research shows that the company can actually profit by giving away its technology to hunger-stricken areas.”

Related article:  Despite activist opposition, Ghana's scientists seek government approval for GM insect-resistant cowpea

[W]hen the association of genetic-modification technology with reduced …. hunger in food-insecure areas lessens consumer aversion to such technology, innovative companies will find it optimal to reduce their prices and increase consumer access to nutritious food in these areas. The reason is that their losses in these areas are more than compensated by their gains in the rest of the world.


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