Table of Contents

Handbook on Agriculture, Biotechnology and Development

Handbook on Agriculture, Biotechnology and Development

Elgar original reference

Edited by Stuart J. Smyth, Peter W.B. Phillips and David Castle

This book is a compendium of knowledge, experience and insight on agriculture, biotechnology and development. Beginning with an account of GM crop adoptions and attitudes towards them, the book assesses numerous crucial processes, concluding with detailed insights into GM products. Drawing on expert perspectives of leading authors from 57 different institutions in 16 countries, it provides a unique, global overview of agbiotech following 20 years of adoption. Many consider GM crops the most rapid agricultural innovation adopted in the history of agriculture. This book provides insights as to why the adoption has occurred globally at such a rapid rate.

Chapter 28: The dynamic IP system in crop genetics and biotechnology

Derek Eaton and Gregory Graff

Subjects: development studies, agricultural economics, development studies, economics and finance, agricultural economics, environment, agricultural economics, biotechnology, environmental sociology, innovation and technology, biotechnology

Extract

Innovation and technological change is governed by a range of institutional frameworks. This chapter concentrates on the intellectual property (IP) system, arguably one of the most important governance mechanisms influencing the evolution of technological trajectories or pathways in agricultural biotechnology. As in other areas of technology, innovation in agricultural biotechnology (agbiotech) has catalyzed changes in the IP system, in this case extending the system into the area of life forms. Novel products of biotechnological research have had to be accommodated by the IP system. This process of institutional change has been driven by a struggle between various actors in the system to influence incremental and major adjustments in the system to their perceived benefit (Graff and Zilberman, 2007; Brousseau et al., 2011). These actors include individuals and organizations involved in research and development (R & D) in agbiotech and plant breeding, in both the public sector and the private sector, as well as seed propagators, farmers, other businesses involved in the agricultural value chain, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and others. These change agents attempt to influence the components of the IP system, in which a distinction can be made between legislators (who define and create legal instruments), regulators or administrators (IP-granting authorities, who interpret and implement instruments) and the judiciary (which interprets legal instruments as a result of conflicts). Thus, IP both conditions and influences innovation and, conversely, technological change drives the evolution of the IP system by presenting new challenges and disrupting the configuration of varying and opposed interests.

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