Both lower economic interest among plant breeders and the approval systems and related uncertainties reduce the returns to investment in plant breeding from a social welfare point of view. Recently, the Nagoya Protocol (see Box) has increased the regulatory uncertainty further as many aspects related to access and benefit sharing are not solved. Out of the 54 African signatory countries to the protocol, at this point in time, only 17 have identified national competent authorities for handling Nagoya protocol-related issues and only two, Kenya and Cameroon, have identified procedures to follow according to the Access and Benefit-sharing Clearing House (ABSCH). The cases of transgenic maize for Kenya and transgenic banana for Uganda serve as examples from the application of transgenic methods.

The Nagoya Protocol – or, as it is known in full, the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity – was adopted in the city of Nagoya, Japan.