By Johannes Kotschi and Bernd Horneburg
FOR millennia, crop seeds have been regarded as a common good, bred by farmers into a rich diversity of cultivars. Over the past 70 years, however, genetic resources in agriculture have been increasingly privatised, made possible by intellectual property rights such as patents and plant variety protection.
Today, three corporations control more than 60 per cent of the global commercial seed market. This creates uniformity in agricultural production, stifles innovation and makes society increasingly dependent on just a few companies, with diminishing choice and rising costs.
All this is diametrically opposed to what …