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Visualizing Consolidation in the Global Seed Industry: 1996–2008

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  • Philip H. Howard

    () (Department of Community, Agriculture, Recreation and Resource Studies, Michigan State University, 316 Natural Resources, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA)

Abstract

The commercial seed industry has undergone tremendous consolidation in the last 40 years as transnational corporations entered this agricultural sector, and acquired or merged with competing firms. This trend is associated with impacts that constrain the opportunities for renewable agriculture, such as reductions in seed lines and a declining prevalence of seed saving. To better characterize the current structure of the industry, ownership changes from 1996 to 2008 are represented visually with information graphics. Since the commercialization of transgenic crops in the mid-1990s, the sale of seeds has become dominated globally by Monsanto, DuPont and Syngenta. In addition, the largest firms are increasingly networked through agreements to cross-license transgenic seed traits.

Suggested Citation

  • Philip H. Howard, 2009. "Visualizing Consolidation in the Global Seed Industry: 1996–2008," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 1(4), pages 1-22, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:1:y:2009:i:4:p:1266-1287:d:6464
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jorge Fernandez-Cornejo & Richard E. Just, 2007. "Researchability of Modern Agricultural Input Markets and Growing Concentration," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1269-1275.
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    Cited by:

    1. Galushko, Viktoriya & Gray, Richard & Smyth, Stuart & Arnison, Paul, 2010. "Resolving FTO Barriers in GM Canola," 14th ICABR Conference, June 16-18, 2010, Ravello, Italy 188092, International Consortium on Applied Bioeconomy Research (ICABR).
    2. repec:pal:eurjdr:v:29:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1057_s41287-017-0077-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Sylvie Bonny, 2017. "Corporate Concentration and Technological Change in the Global Seed Industry," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(9), pages 1-25, September.
    4. Peter Jacques, 2015. "Civil society, corporate power, and food security: counter-revolutionary efforts that limit social change," Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Springer;Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences, vol. 5(3), pages 432-444, September.
    5. Paul Vincelli, 2016. "Genetic Engineering and Sustainable Crop Disease Management: Opportunities for Case-by-Case Decision-Making," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(5), pages 1-22, May.
    6. repec:pal:develp:v:59:y:2016:i:3:d:10.1057_s41301-017-0114-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:gam:jsusta:v:8:y:2016:i:5:p:495:d:70523 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Liu, Zhen & Kemp, Ron G.M. & Jongsma, Maarten A. & Huang, Caicheng & Dons, J.J.M. & Omta, S.W.F, 2014. "Key Success Factors of Innovation Projects of Vegetable Breeding Companies in China," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA), vol. 17(4).
    9. Katherine Mintz, 2017. "Arguments and actors in recent debates over US genetically modified organisms (GMOs)," Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Springer;Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences, vol. 7(1), pages 1-9, March.
    10. Borgen, Svein Ole & Aarset, Bernt, 2016. "Participatory Innovation: Lessons from breeding cooperatives," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 145(C), pages 99-105.
    11. repec:fpr:ifprib:9780896292710 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. repec:spr:agrhuv:v:34:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10460-016-9754-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Zhou, Minyu & Sheldon, Ian M., 2013. "The Role of Intellectual Property Rights in Seed Technology Transfer through Trade – Evidence from U.S. Field Crop Seed Exports," Proceedings Issues, 2013: Productivity and Its Impacts on Global Trade, June 2-4, 2013. Seville, Spain 152368, International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium.
    14. Hendrickson, Mary K. & Howard, Philip H. & Constance, Douglas H., 2017. "Power, Food and Agriculture: Implications for Farmers, Consumers and Communities," EconStor Preprints 171171, ZBW - German National Library of Economics.
    15. Fischer, Klara, 2016. "Why new crop technology is not scale-neutral—A critique of the expectations for a crop-based African Green Revolution," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(6), pages 1185-1194.
    16. Nolan, Elizabeth & Santos, Paulo & Shi, Guanming, 2012. "Market concentration and productivity in the United States corn sector: 2002-2009," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 125941, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    17. Scott M. Swinton & Braeden Deynze, 2017. "Hoes to Herbicides: Economics of Evolving Weed Management in the United States," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 29(3), pages 560-574, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    seed industry; consolidation; concentration; oligopoly; information graphics;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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