Impact On Crop Biodiversity

The effect of the introduction of GMVs on crop biodiversity depends on the extent that traditional local varieties are replaced by a small number of GMVs. Continued planting of local varieties, even in GM form, can be a mechanism for preserving crop biodiversity. Our analysis has identified a wide array of circumstances in which local varieties may be preserved after the introduction of agricultural biotechnology. In situations where the revenue gains from genetic modification of local varieties relative to a generic variety are substantial, and fixed and variable costs of modification and production are low, local varieties will be modified and biodiversity will be preserved. Even in situations where the introduction of agricultural biotechnology will lead to replacement of areas of local varieties with a generic GMV, adoption of the modified varieties need not be complete. In particular, when a monopolistic private company controls the technology, it will charge a technology fee that may not warrant adoption of the technology on much of the land. Hence, a significant portion of the acreage will continue to be planted with traditional varieties. Full adoption of GMVs rarely occurs, and with partial adoption local varieties may be preserved.

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