「生物資源経済学専攻英語講義シリーズ」（“Division of Natural Resource Economics English Lecture Series”）の第8回として下記のJGP Special Seminar (JGP: Japan Gateway: Kyoto University Top Global Program)を開催します。
Consolidation in the Global Seed Industry: Drivers and Impacts
Dr. Philip Howard
Associate Professor at Department of Community Sustainability,
College of Agriculture & Natural Resources,
Michigan State University
Much of the food we eat is derived from plants grown from seeds, or from animals that consume these types of plants. The seed industry has changed dramatically in recent decades, however, moving from one characterized by thousands of small and mostly family-owned businesses, to one in which more than 60% of proprietary seed sales globally are controlled by just four corporations. Importantly, these same four firms are even more dominant in global sales of pesticides. The impacts of these changes have included higher prices for farmers, fewer seed varieties, reduced rates of innovation, and a decline in seed saving. These trends are driven by changes in government policies that include reduced antitrust enforcement and increasing intellectual property protections on seeds, as well as a system that incentivizes large firms to continually increase their power. Dominant firms are facing increasing public opposition, however, and alternatives such as open source and heirloom seed firms, while currently very small, are growing rapidly. This resistance illuminates key leverage points for addressing the negative impacts of consolidation, and potentially to reverse these trends.
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