Technological Change and New Actors: Debate on Returns and Regulations

Abstract: New technology in the seed sector has brought in new actors and new requirements for regulation. It is important to discuss how far India is working on new opportunities and policy options for effective and rationale regulatory framework. Equally important is to analyze how socio-economic dimension is often overlooked while evolving regulatory frameworks both for biosafety as well as for price control of seeds. There is systemic lack of technological sensitivity in the agricultural R&D system. We fail to appreciate the kind of technological support farmers are looking for and how best a delivery system for new technologies should be put in place. In this regard, India would have to evolve a dynamic innovation and technology policy to address diverse agricultural challenges and growing environmental concerns. There is need to do is to overhaul the institutional set-up and its linkages with ground-level experiences. This includes gearing up of decision making process for newer crops; setting up of necessary infrastructure and trained manpower for any eventuality related to biohazard; and, on top of that, identifying correctly the technological expectations from agricultural R&D systems. Keywords: Seed, regulation competition policy, biosafety, India.