While many Head of States and climate activists are turning their attention to COP 21 and what may eventually be pledged in Paris this week, Monsanto recently entered into an agreement with Deere & Co. that could dramatically alter the world agricultural market. John Deere, the world’s largest producer of agricultural machinery, agreed to purchase Monsanto’s Precision Planting LLC equipment unit. As part of the deal, information on crops contained in Monsanto’s Field View software app, used with the equipment, will direct continuous information back to Monsanto. Monsanto will know which farmers have planted which crops, and where.
Importantly, Monsanto has similar arrangements with two other top producers of almost identical agricultural machinery, CNH Industrial NV and AGCO Corporation. The last deal with John Deere definitively secures a monopoly position for Monsanto.
Access to the information imbedded in farming equipment will give Monsanto unprecedented insight into market yields of any harvest before anyone else, and this information could allow Monsanto to manipulate and reign supreme over the commodities market, which are the lifeline of emerging countries.
Now it is legitimate to ask ourselves, who is really calling the shots here, and how much can governments actually do?