The Seed and Agricultural Biotechnology Industries in India: An Analysis of Industry Structure, Competition, and Policy Options

David J. Spielman, International Food Policy Research Institue
Deepthi Kolady, South Dakota State University
Anthony Cavalieri, International Food Policy Research Institute
N. Chandrasekhara Rao, Univeristy of Delhi Enclave


Since the late 1980s, technological advances and policy reforms have created new opportunities for private-sector investment in India’s seed and agricultural biotechnology industries. These changes have had a significant impact on cotton yields and output in India, but less so for rice and wheat—the country’s main cereal staples—for which yield growth rates are tending toward stagnation. This analysis examines the structures of these industries, their potential effects on competition and innovation, and the policies that may improve both industry performance and the delivery of new productivity-enhancing technologies to India’s cereal production systems. Our findings suggest that more substantive policy reforms are needed to encourage further innovation, reduce regulatory uncertainty, and encourage firm- and industry-level growth, while continued public spending on agricultural research is needed to support technological change.