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The Age Of Contract Agriculture: Consequences Of Concentration In Input Supply


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  • Harl, Neil E.
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    Dramatic increases in concentration in the seed business, coupled with aggressive efforts to vertically integrate the agricultural sector and to institute contract-based production of commodities, have raised questions about the economic position of producers. Disparate positions of market power by highly concentrated input suppliers on the one hand (particularly seed suppliers because of control over germ plasm and a monopoly position over seed varieties through plant patents or plant variety protection certificates), and producers in nearly perfect competition on the other, suggest that the revenue division from production is likely to be redefined in favor of the party with the greater market and economic power. Possible solutions include aggressive antitrust oversight over further mergers and consolidations, assuring that more germ plasm is in the public domain, and collective action by producers in bargaining for inputs.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Agricultural Economics Association of Georgia in its journal Journal of Agribusiness.

    Volume (Year): 18 (2000)
    Issue (Month): 1 (March)

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    Handle: RePEc:ags:jloagb:14701

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    Postal: 301 Conner Hall, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602-7509
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    Keywords: agriculture; antitrust; barriers to entry; collective action; concentration; contract; seed; vertical integration; Farm Management; Industrial Organization;


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    1. Harl, Neil E., 1998. "Contract Agriculture: Will It Tip the Balance?," Staff General Research Papers 1341, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
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    Cited by:
    1. Ekanem, Enefiok P. & Muhammad, Safdar & Tegegne, Fisseha & Singh, Surendra P., 2004. "Consumer Biotechnology Food And Nutrition Information Sources: The Trust Factor," Journal of Food Distribution Research, Food Distribution Research Society, vol. 35(01), March.
    2. Schimmelpfennig, David E. & Pray, Carl E. & Brennan, Margaret F., 2004. "The impact of seed industry concentration on innovation: a study of US biotech market leaders," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 30(2), pages 157-167, March.
    3. Srinivasan, C. S., 2003. "Concentration in ownership of plant variety rights: some implications for developing countries," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(5-6), pages 519-546.
    4. Troskie, Dirk P. & Mathijs, Erik & Vink, Nick, 2000. "Characteristics of the agricultural sector of the 21st Century," Agrekon, Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA), vol. 39(4), December.
    5. Elliott, Matthew & James Jr., Harvey, 2013. "Nature Of The Farm: Revisited," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 150726, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.


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