05.07.2019

Domestic plant breeding companies may be an alternative. The difficulty is that many of the technologies and the germ plasm being used for plant breeding are often not in the hands of one single company. Technologies and germ plasm are shared between plant breeding companies using cross licensing of technologies and other forms of partnerships often as a result of protection of intellectual properties via patents and plant breeders rights. International smaller and larger plant breeding companies hold shares on African companies and vice versa. The private seed sector is in particular well developed in South Africa, ranked number 16 world-wide in terms of value.

The larger problem is the potential lack of interest caused by regulatory uncertainty in African countries and the EU. The EU judgement increases legal uncertainty as the direct implications and possible changes in EU regulation are under debate. African countries send a number of mixed signals about their intentions to introduce reliable approval systems, and all the more about final approval, as illustrated by the long debates about the approval of Bt maize in Kenya and disease resistant banana in Uganda.