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Abstract

Advances in agricultural biotechnology have led to interest by agribusiness to license elite germplasm from national programs in developing countries, now in need of funds. Uncertainties about the value of the material have delayed negotiations. This article proposes a method of setting upper (monopoly; no seed saving) and lower (competitive) negotiating bounds on values. The model accounts for (1) annual productivity enhancements, (2) effects on world prices, and (3) obsolescence effects of greater R&D. A demonstration application for soybeans in Brazil, which has completed the preconditions (IPR, biosafety, internal policy), suggests limited private value for public germplasm. The optimal solution is cooperation (licensing).

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