- freely available
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(3), 91; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8030091
2. The Protection of Intellectual Property Rights on Plant Varieties
- Branding: the variety can be associated with a unique name. The protection is extended to the final product (for example, pink lady apples or sungold kiwis)
- Production control. The breeder can plan the production of the final product by controlling the license agreement.
- Marketing control. The breeder may claim ownership rights on the final product. This means that farmers may be subjected to a delivery obligation. Consequently, the breeder maintains an influence on the marketing decision.
3. The Empirical Strategy
3.1. Defining Governance
3.2. Empirical Investigation of Differences in the Governance of Vegetable Value Chains
4. The Agro Pontino Kiwifruit Value Chain
4.1. Description of the Agro Pontino Kiwifruit Chain
4.2. A Comparison of the Forms of Governance
4.3. The Role of Governance in the Adoption of New Varieties
5. Summary and Conclusions
Conflicts of Interest
Appendix A. A Short History on the Regulation of PVP
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The 2016 yield suffered a sharp loss (−31% compared to 2015) due to severe pest problems. In 2015, the share of global production reached 5.1%. Data source: CSO (Latina production) and FaoStat (world production).
In the computation of the test statistics, we excluded the case of the hierarchical governance form because of the zero frequency. The degrees of freedom of the test were adjusted accordingly.
The χ2 test requires a large sample. Usually, it is considered inappropriate for a sample size smaller than 30 or 40 observations. Because our simple size is just sufficient, we computed a Fisher’s exact test in order to support our conclusion. The test returns the exact probability of observing the actual data if the null hypothesis was true. The downside of the test is that it requires a 2 × 2 table. For this reason, we aggregated the governance forms into two groups: Market and Modular on the one side and Relational and Captive on the other one. Fisher’s exact probability is p1 = 0.0016, which allows us to reject the null hypothesis of equal distribution in the two groups. The test confirms that the observed differences in the distributions are unlikely to be due to chance alone.
Gereffi et al. (2005, p. 84) define the captive governance form these words: “Captive value chains. In these networks, small suppliers are transactionally dependent on much larger buyers. Suppliers face significant switching costs and are, therefore, ‘captive’. Such networks are frequently characterized by a high degree of monitoring and control by lead firms.
Sanderson (2017) found an 1833 Papal State Edict about the ownership of new inventions and discoveries in the fields of agriculture and technical arts. However, this Edict was not specifically designed to protect new plant varieties. For a more detailed discussion of the application of standard patent laws to plant varieties before the sui generis regulation, see Van Overwalle, G. (Van Overwalle 1998).
The 1883 Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property considered agriculture as one of the areas in respect to which property rights can be granted. However, this provision was just an extension of the standard regulation. Furthermore, its applicability to new plant varieties was questioned by Blakeney 2010.
For an analysis of the economic principles of this scheme in the agri-food system, see Moschini and Lapan 1997.
|Type of Governance|
|Negotiation of terms of sale||Everything is negotiated||Standard contracts that are equal for all growers||The grower can negotiate some terms (others are imposed)||Terms are dictated by the buyer|
|Complexity||Complexity of production||Easy||Difficult for unexperienced growers only||Difficult requires high skills||Must use buyer’s tech support|
|Codify info||Production specifications||None/custom rules||Simple standards||Complex standards||Follow directions|
|Termination cost (growers)||Very low||High||High||Impossible/very costly|
|Other||Type of PVP|
|Years of farming|
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