Agrochemical Industry Concentration: The Big Six

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The worldwide market for agrochemicals was US$44 billion in 2011. According to 2013 figures, the top six companies account for 76 per cent of the total market while the top 10 pesticide companies control almost 95 per cent.

The world’s six largest pesticide manufacturers are also seed industry giants: Bayer (Germany), Syngenta (Switzerland), BASF (Germany), Dow Agrosciences (US), Monsanto (US), DuPont (US). The Big Six firms have a dangerous chokehold on the global agricultural research agenda. They accounted for over three-quarters of total private sector research and development (R&D) spending in the seed sector (76 per cent) and the same share (76 per cent) in the agrochemical sector in 2010.

These companies devote, on average, at least 70 per cent of all seed and crop R&D in pursuit of biotech and genetic engineering. Why? GE seeds, particularly herbicide tolerant seeds, are the growth engine for the pesticide industry.

Links and Resources

  • ETC Group. (2013, September). Putting the Cartel before the Horse…and Farm, Seeds, Soil, Peasants, etc. Who Will Control Agricultural Inputs, 2013? Communiqué no. 111. Retrieved from
  • ETC Group. (2011). Who will control the green economy? Retrieved from
  • Fuglie, K., Heisey, P., King, J., Pray, C.E., Day-Rubenstein, K., Schimmelpfennig, D., Wang, S.L., and Karmarkar-Deshmukh, R. (2011, Dec.). Research investments and market structure in the food processing, agricultural input, and biofuel industries worldwide. Retrieved from
  • Eiteman, M. (2012, Oct. 9). Genetically modified food industry’s dirty little secret. Reader Supported News. Retrieved from

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