Biotechnology and Developing Countries


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Biotechnology and Developing Countries

  1. 1. Productivity, Access, and Risk: the Keys to Biotechnology in Developing Countries David Zilberman, University of California Gregory Graff, University of California Matin Qaim, University of Bonn Cherisa Yarkin, University of California
  2. 2. Presumed Points of Failure 1. Productivity: Biotechnology aims to solve problems of the North; will not make a difference in the South. 2. Access: Biotechnology is controlled by corporations; will not be accessible on feasible terms to poor peasants. 3. Risks: Damage to environment and human health, contamination of native genetic materials, and loss of crop biodiversity
  3. 3. Productivity: Yield-Increasing Potential Yield = potential output x (1 - damage) damage = f (pest, pest control) Combination of high pest pressure and minimal existing use of pest control  potential for yield- increasing effect Attractive features of pest-control agricultural biotechnologies Simplicity of use Reduction in use of chemicals or labor
  4. 4. Productivity: Evidence for Bt Cotton Gains Bt cotton in: United States: yield effect 0 – 15% China: yield effect 10% South Africa: yield effect 20%-40% India: yield effect 60 – 80 % In every country have reduction in chemical usage
  5. 5. The Impact of Bt Cotton in India Bt cotton is used to provide resistance to the American bollworm (Helicoverpa armigera). The technology was developed by Monsanto and was introduced in collaboration with the Maharashtra Hybrid Seed Company (Mahyco). Field trials with these Bt hybrids have been carried out since 1997 and, for the 2002/03 growing season, the technology was commercially approved by the Indian authorities.
  6. 6. Our study For our analysis, we use data from on- farm field trials that were carried out during the 2001/02 growing season as part of the regulatory procedure. In 2001, field trials were carried out on 395 farms in seven states of India. These trials were initiated by Mahyco and supervised by the regulatory authorities.
  7. 7. Experimental design Three adjacent 646 m2 plots were planted: the first with a Bt cotton hybrid, the second with the same hybrid but without the Bt gene (non-Bt counterpart), and the third with a different hybrid commonly used in the particular location (popular check). All three plots were managed by the farmers themselves, following customary practices. This setup allows reducing the effects of differences in agroecological conditions and managerial abilities when making technological comparisons.
  8. 8. The actual data source In addition to the regular trial records, more comprehensive information was collected for 157 farms on agronomic aspects and farm and household characteristics. Observations from these 157 farms constitute the data basis for this analysis. They cover 25 districts in three major cotton- producing states—Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh in Central India and Tamil Nadu in the South. Plot-level input and output data were extrapolated to 1 hectare to facilitate comparisons.
  9. 9. Results Bt hybrids were sprayed three times less often against bollworms than the conventional hybrids. On average, insecticide amounts on Bt cotton plots were reduced by almost 70%, which is consistent with studies from other countries. At average pesticide amounts of 1.6 kg/ha (active ingredients) on the conventional trial plots, crop damage in 2001/02 was about 60%. Bt does not completely eliminate pest-related yield losses.
  10. 10. Results II Average yields of Bt hybrids exceeded those of non-Bt counterparts and local checks by 80% and 87%, respectively. 2001/02 was a season with high bollworm pressure in India, so that average yield effects will be somewhat lower in years with less pest problems.
  11. 11. Insecticide Use and Crop Losses with and without Bt Technology
  12. 12. Bt Non-Bt counterpart Popular check Sprays against bollworm 0.62* (1.28) 3.68 (1.98) 3.63(1.98) Sprays against sucking pests 3.57 (1.70) 3.51(1.66) 3.45(1.62) Amount of insecticide (kg/ha) 1.74* (1.86) 5.56 (3.15) 5.43(3.07) Toxicity class I 0.64*(1.10) 1.98 (1.78) 1.94(1.78) Toxicity class II 1.07*(1.27) 3.55 (2.66) 3.46(2.60) Toxicity class III 0.03 (0.08) 0.03 (0.08) 0.03(0.08) Active ingredient (kg/ha) 0.48*(0.55) 1.55 (0.96) 1.52(0.95) Yield (kg/ha) † 1,501*(857) 833(572) 802(571) * Me an values are different from those of non-Bt counterparts and popular checks at a 5% significance level. † Yield levels refer to the amount of seed cotton before ginning. Yield and pesticides use comparisons
  13. 13. Region Pest pressure Availability of chemical alternatives Adoption of chemicals Yield effect of GM crops Developed countries Low-med high high low L.Am (commercial) medium medium high low -med China medium medium high low- med L.Am(non-commercial) medium low -med low med -high South & So. east Asia high low -med low -med high Africa high low low high Predicted yield effects of pest controlling Biotech
  14. 14. Access •Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) •Registrations
  15. 15. Access: Biotechnologies in the South Most IP is generated by research in the North Transfer of public sector’s rights to the private sector provides incentives for development and commercialization Companies have little incentive to invest in applications specific to the South
  16. 16. Access: Biotechnologies in the South Companies are willing to give technologies for use in South; good PR Companies worry about liability, transaction costs Universities with rights to technology will also be open to transferring to South applications Needed institutional mediation: IP clearinghouse
  17. 17. Access: Objectives of clearinghouse for IPR Reduce search costs to identifying set of technologies accessible Reduce transaction cost for the commercialization of innovations Increase transparency about ownership of IPR Provide mechanisms to manage negotiation of access to IPR Improve technology transfer mechanisms and practices (mostly in public sector institution)
  18. 18. Non-member organizations Member organizations Non-member IP users Pooled sub-licensing Assignment, license, or option for full or limited fields of use Single patent sub-licensing “Re-packaging” IP providers: IP users: Member organization IP users Non-member IP users Direct licensing transactions Access: Model of a clearinghouse for IPR
  19. 19. Access: Reducing Regulatory Constraints Registration should be efficient. Excessive requirements may be used as a source of political economic rent seeking. Borders are arbitrary. Countries can take advantage of regulatory clearances granted elsewhere and concentrate on addressing unique local problems and risks. Countries should develop regional alliances for regulation and establish mechanisms for easy transfer of regulatory information.
  20. 20. Environment •Risks •Agricultural biodiversity
  21. 21. Environment: Sound Basis for Risk Analysis Is the Precautionary Principle a sound basis for risk analysis? There are always trade-offs between risks and benefits, and between risks and risks. In Africa, does risk of “genetic contamination” exceed risk of starvation? Agricultural biotechnology should be evaluated in comparison to pesticides and other real alternatives. In tropics, increased productivity would reduce pressure for deforestation.
  22. 22. Gmo’s are not perfect- Gmo’s have problems-resistance buildup, damage to secondary pests, genetic contamination. Refugia, monitoring of impacts, restriction of use in some locations can address these problems partially-but alternatives have problems and risks that have to be considered. Agricultural biotech is in its infancy- built up of human capital and accumulation of -will lead to eliminations of many bug and lead to better technologies
  23. 23. Environment: Sound Basis for Risk Analysis Risks and benefits should be quantified. Sound reliability factors—i.e. confidence intervals —should be used to standardize risk estimates.
  24. 24. Environment: Relative to Modern Breeding Biotech Can Enhance Crop Biodiversity Main premise: Agbiotech allows minor modification of existing varieties and under appropriate institutional setup can be adopted while preserving crop biodiversity Conventional breeding involves often massive genetic changes, and adjustments to accommodate biodiversity are costly and Well functioning IPR system can lead to crop biodiversity preservation Field data support this claim
  25. 25. Table 1. Number of available varieties for different GM technologies in selected countries (2001/2002) Country Technology Area under technology (ha) Number of local varieties/hybrids a Number of imported varieties/hybrids USA RR soybean 22 million >1,100 0 Bt corn 7 million >700 0 Bt cotton 2 million 19 0 Argentina RR soybean 10 million 45 11 Bt corn 0.7 million 15 6 Bt cotton 22,000 0 2 China Bt cotton 1.5 million 22 5 India Bt cotton 40,000 3 0 Mexico Bt cotton 28,000 0 2 South Africa Bt cotton 20,000 1 2
  26. 26. Environment: Biodiversity scenarios in the field Strong IPRs, strong breeding sector, and low transaction costs. (US) Private technology owner will license the innovation to different seed companies, who incorporate it into many or all crop varieties, so that crop biodiversity is preserved. Strong IPRs, strong breeding sector, but high transaction costs. (EU) If an agreement cannot be reached, companies will bypass breeding sector, directly introduce GM crop varieties that are not locally adapted.
  27. 27. Environment: Biodiversity scenarios in the field Weak IPRs and a strong breeding sector. (China) Many different GM varieties are available Farmers and consumers are beneficiaries. SR social optimum. Weak IPRs and a weak breeding sector. (Africa) If foreign GM crop varieties are even introduced, are done directly without adaptation. A loss of local crop biodiversity.
  28. 28. Biotech Could Enhance Crop Biodiversity Conventional breeding led to wholesale replacement of land races with elite line monocultures Biotechnology could provide precise improvements to traditional land races Could lead to reintroduction of new “technologically competitive” land races - ”Jurasic garden”
  29. 29. Conclusions Agbiotechnology has significant potential for developing countries; the challenge is to realize that potential: Productivity: yield effect of biotechnology tends to be larger in developing countries Access: institutions can reduce IP and regulatory costs for developing countries Risks: crop biodiversity can be preserved and could even be restored with biotechnology
  30. 30. Ag bio tech is only part of the solution Ag biotech is more than Gmo’s. It will evolve- alternative molecular approaches will be developed-but knowledge will not be accumulated without experience Development may be dependent on public and private sector funding Ag biotech must be pursued as part of a portfolio of technology and knowledge tools aiming to enhance productivity and environmental sustainability of agriculture.
  31. 31. Consider 250 million Americans are the “guinea pigs” for agricultural biotechnology. Northern countries also took the risk with cars and with modern chemicals. Africa missed the Green Revolution; will it also miss the Gene Revolution?