The world’s largest seed company Monsanto and the second largest pesticide company Bayer are set to merge into one conglomerate, which will control over 60% of the world’s seeds.
Proponents of big agro-business mergers such as these argue that they can be important in creating food security and alleviating world poverty. Critics, on the other hand, warn of loss of agricultural biodiversity through intensive genetic modification and of the threat to livelihoods and independence smaller farmers.
Big mergers of seed and pesticide companies have happened before and this is the third such joint venture. This points to a future where the majority of the world’s seeds and thus, food supply, will be controlled by big corporates rather than smaller scale farmers.
Whilst a number of regenerative agricultural methods are proven to be effective and practised by farmers all over the world, corporate hold over seed supply is likely to threaten agricultural biodiversity through an increased use of various genetic engineering methods. This could potentially lead to less diverse and nutritious food produce as well as loss of farmer independence.