Innovations in Indian Seed/Biotech Industry'

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Innovations from public sector research and development (R&D), which were spread by public sector seed corporations were an essential component of the Green Revolution. The modern varieties of rice, wheat, and coarse grains increased food production in India, helped millions of people come out of poverty, and made India self-sufficient in grain production. Now, however, rapid growth in per capita income and population growth in India are pushing up the demand for vegetables, fruits, and coarse grains to feed livestock. The demand for the basic food grains such as rice and wheat is growing too, ifnot as rapidly, and global prices for all agricultural commodities have increased. At the same time, the growth in yields ofbasic food grains in the most productive areas of India such as Punjab is slowing down. Fortunately, unlike in the early period of the Green Revolution, the private sector is now making major investments in R&D, and so, India no longer has to rely entirely on innovative new varieties from the public sector or from the international agricultural research institutes such as the International Rice Research Institute. The objectives of this chapter are three-fold:(i) to assess the current innovation system in the seed and biotechnology sector;(ii) to identify the investments in public agricultural research and innovation; and (iii) to reflect on the policies supporting private research and innovations so that farmers can have the innovative new cultivars1 that they need to meet the rapidly increasing