16 October 2011

Dear DuPont, You're Not Welcome, Here.

In some slightly good news... South Africa's Competition Commission has blocked the purchase of local seed company Pannar by Pioneer Hi-Bred, a division of the US-based chemical giant, DuPont. Thank goodness for small mercies. The Competition Commission has said that they're release their full report soon, but that the deal was turned down because it would effectively reduce the number of large-scale Maize seed suppliers from 3 to 2.

Not that Pannar is any kind of beneficent angel. They're a large seed company in their own right – the largest in Africa, and as equally enchanted with the idea of controlling seed supplies as any of their US and European compatriots in crime.

Remember that Maize is SA's staple crop, so the Competition Commission's reasoning looks like sound to me. Looks like they're one of the few parts of the kakistocracy actually doing the job they're supposed to be doing, and doing it comptently!

It would be good would be to have an even wider range of suppliers in this country, but the laws around seed-sales are complicated, convoluted, restrictive and blatantly favour the entrenched big players.

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