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Abstract

As private plant breeding replaces public programs, the efficient provision and utilisation of key enabling technologies for crop breeding, which are largely knowledge based and provide the foundation for variety improvement, might be at risk. Typically, such inputs are non‐rival in use and are therefore termed essential plant breeding infrastructure (EPBI). Specific threats include the possibility of wasteful duplication in production, under‐production, under‐utilisation of produced EPBI because of price rationing, and anticompetitive outcomes in plant breeding and downstream markets. The likely level of under‐investment in hypothetical molecular‐marker technology by a profit‐maximising monopoly producer, charging uniform prices for access, is analysed using results from the published literature on excludable public goods.

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