The distribution of benefits from ownership rights in genetic resources: the case of beans
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Pachico, Douglas H. 2000. The distribution of benefits from ownership rights in genetic resources : The case of beans. Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical (CIAT), Cali, CO. 10 p.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/72014
With the advent of biotechnology and the emergence of property rights in genetic materials, the economic value of genetic resources is an issue of growing importance. Since neither genetic resources nor their use is equally distributed, this paper develops a model to assess the distribution of benefits from ownership and use of cultivated and wild bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) genetic resources. First, this paper quantitatively estimates the potential magnitude of royalty incomes that would accrue to countries of origin of germplasm. Second, it breaks down royalty flows by countries, thereby revealing significant intra-regional variation in the distribution of benefits. Third, a distinction is made between payment for land races versus wild germplasm. Finally, an estimate of net benefit`s from germplasm is presented, taking into account royalty receipts, royalty payments, and the increase in productivity due to the use of improved germplasm. The paper finds that a system of ownership rights in bean germplasm would generate income flows for countries that own major sources of diversity. High income gene-poor countries of the north, would indeed make payments to low income, gene-rich countries in the south. However, many low income countries in the south are also poorly endowed with genetic diversity, and would also be net payers for the use of germplasm. Most countries in the south would have far more to gain from increases in productivity due to utilizing germplasm, than they would from receiving royalty payments for the ownership of germplasm.