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A strategic framework for adoption and impact studies in the CGIAR Research Program on Wheat (WHEAT)

Author: Krishna, V.V.
Author: Karimov, A.A.
Author: Yigezu, A.Y.
Author: Erenstein, O.
Year: 2019
Abstract: The CGIAR centers in collaboration with the national agricultural research systems (NARS) across the global South have developed a number of agricultural innovations that helped lower the cost of producing their major food staples and increase food security among the poor (Evenson and Gollin, 2003; Evenson, 2001). Economists and other social scientists have long sought to establish the developmental outcomes of these technological interventions in agriculture under various agro-ecological, socio-economic, demographic and institutional contexts. Documenting technology adoption and establishing the associated impacts are essentially important for agricultural research for two reasons. First, they provide a simple measure of performance of agricultural research for development (R4D) programs (Glover et al., 2016). Second, the lessons obtained from adoption-impact assessment studies can be used for subsequent improvements in agricultural R4D (Walker and Alwang, 2015; Douthwaite et al., 2003). Although a large number of studies have demonstrated that growth in agricultural productivity and reduction in rural poverty is inextricably intertwined with investments in agricultural research and extension (Pray et al., 2017; Thornton et al., 2017; Evenson and Gollin, 2003), agriculture R4D remains to be an under-invested domain in many developing countries (Raitzer and Maredia, 2012; Hurley et al., 2014). Decades of decline in the real price of food had generated a false optimism on adequacy of food production, which in turn affected the relative importance of R4D spending in agriculture. In the wheat agri-food systems, R4D interventions are proven to have significant livelihood implications and stimulated in depth stakeholder dialogue. Wheat is cultivated widely by marginal and resource-poor smallholder farmers and is a major source of calories and protein for both urban and rural consumers in the developing world (Shiferaw et al., 2013). In the recent past, wheat productivity has been growing in a sluggish pace, lagging behind the world population growth. There are a multitude of contributing factors for this phenomenon. Some of the challenges faced especially by smallholder farmers in cultivation of wheat are novel (e.g., virulent strains of wheat rust [Mottaleb et al., 2018; Hovmøller et al., 2010]), while some others (e.g., declining potassium in the soil and terminal heat [Ortiz et al., 2008; Ladha et al., 2003]) are increasing in their intensity. While there has been no slowdown in the rate of release of rust resistant, drought tolerant and more productive varieties, a large portion of wheat area in many countries is still cultivated with older improved varieties (Atlin et al., 2017; Krishna et al., 2016; Yigezu et al., 2016) and local ones. The slowdown of public and private investments in breeding research have made the situation worse putting pressure on both national and international wheat productivity improvement programs. Given that the challenges faced by the agri-food systems are dynamic, one of the major global challenges in the years to come would be transferring the relevant agricultural innovations quickly and consistently into the hands of the world’s poor farmers, such as those living in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. The CGIAR Research Program on Wheat (WHEAT) aims to “ensure that publicly funded international agricultural research helps most effectively to dramatically boost farmlevel wheat productivity, while renewing and fortifying the crop’s resistance to globally important diseases and pests, enhancing its adaptation to warmer climates, and reducing its water, fertilizer, labor and fuel requirements” (WHEAT, 2016). Through different research programs carried under WHEAT, about 17.5 million more farm households are expected to adopt improved wheat varieties and associated crop management practices by year 2022 and that wheat yields will increase on average by 1.4 percent each year. About 5.7 million people, half of which are women, would be assisted to escape poverty and to meeting the minimum daily carbohydrate requirements in the same timeline. These objectives will be achieved through germplasm improvement and sustainable intensification of wheat production systems, while ensuring significant improvements in water and nutrient use efficiency and a reduction of farming-related carbondioxide emission in the wheat farming systems during the period of program implementation. The socio-economic research component of CRP WHEAT is expected to facilitate attainment of the aforementioned goals. To this effect, past trends on technology diffusion in wheat production systems are continuously documented, which would aid priority setting and foresight. Socioeconomic research could also help create a conducive policy and institutional environment across all the nodes of wheat value chains for rapid diffusion and transfer of innovations among farm households belonging to different socioeconomic strata. Finally, comprehensive assessments on the level of adoption and impacts of the different technologies and managerial practices will be generated to provide credible evidence on how much of the planned outputs and outcomes are realized in the field. Against this backdrop, this document presents a strategy framework to facilitate assessment of diffusion and impacts of technology interventions in wheat systems. The framework will be revised every 3 years or so, by including the latest literature on adoption and impacts of technology interventions in wheat agri-food systems and by incorporating lessons learnt from implementing the strategy in the field.
Format: PDF
Language: English
Publisher: CGIAR Research Program on Wheat
Publisher: CIMMYT
Publisher: ICARDA
Copyright: CIMMYT manages Intellectual Assets as International Public Goods. The user is free to download, print, store and share this work. In case you want to translate or create any other derivative work and share or distribute such translation/derivative work, please contact indicating the work you want to use and the kind of use you intend; CIMMYT will contact you with the suitable license for that purpose.
Type: Report
Place of Publication: Mexico
Pages: 22 pages
Agrovoc: WHEAT

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  • Wheat
    Wheat - breeding, phytopathology, physiology, quality, biotech

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