||Since its 1993 review, the CIMMYI Economics Program has gone through a major transformation in its research program, staffing, linkages with other CIMMYI programs, and linkages with CIMMYT outreach programs. The Program looks forward to integrating its work within the new CIMMYT project structure that is to be implemented in 1998. We are seeking a critical assessment and an endorsement of our plans as we orient ourselves for the next decade. Changes in research themes During an internal review conducted in April 1996, the Economics Program identified the following research themes as areas for continued and/or enhanced involvement: impact assessment; technology design and forecasting; economics of genetic diversity; long-term demand/supply projections; and research priority setting. We believe that our traditional strength in ex post analysis needs to be complemented with an increased effort in forward-looking, ex ante analysis. We also believe that the unique advantage of the Economics Program is in working at the interface between technology, policy, and the resource environment. We do not anticipate doing the work described in this briefing book in isolation, but rather seek to build partnerships with other CIMMYI programs and with economists in the NARS and in advanced country universities. Our recently initiated Economics Affiliates Program will add to our strength -- not only in numbers of staff but also in quality of research and enhanced expertise. In the area of impact assessment, we have made a conscious attempt to blend work on the adoption and impact of germplasm with emerging concerns over equity, including gender equity, and over the environmental impact of modem wheat and maize farming systems. Impact assessment is a distinct project in the CIMMYI Medium Term Plan for 1998-2000+, and under this project we propose that a multidisciplinary group of scientists focus on the impact of CIMMYT's technology development. We have begun to update the global wheat and maize impact studies, first undertaken in the early 1990s. These studies were extremely well received and the demand for follow-up studies has been strong. In addition, we are initiating an assessment of spillovers of wheat and maize research in Latin America and the implications for enhancing the efficiency of the research system. We plan to make a comparative assessment of the classic Green Revolution sites across the world, such as the Indian Punjab and the Yaqui Valley, and develop a prognosis of the future productivity and sustainability of each site. Finally, the Program will initiate work in two areas which have not featured strongly in our previous work: the gender-related impacts of technical change and constraints to the adoption of crop and resource management technologies. Our efforts in ex ante technology evaluation and forecasting potential impact domains are also relatively new, and we see substantial scope for methodology development in this area. We plan to start with some specific problems that need support from Economics and gradually work towards a more general methodology for technology forecasting. Our first effort in this area is to conduct an ex ante assessment of emerging biotechnology products; in collaboration with the CIMMYT biotechnology group, we will assess the economics of apomixis and of marker-assisted selection. We will also initiate an evaluation of the technological prospects for unfavorable maize and wheat environments, with an emphasis on drought prone-maize production environments. Another study soon to be underway is an anthropological study of effective mechanisms for farmer participation in the design of crop and resource management technologies. The economics of genetic diversity is an area in which CIMMYT Economics is becoming increasingly visible. We are plowing new ground in this area and hope to have several new products over the next five years. We have begun a comprehensive assessment of the costs and benefits of ex situ versus in situ conservation of genetic resources, which features the explicit quantification of the relationship between diversity and productivity. Prototype studies will be initiated in China and Australia. We are also examining several participatory approaches to in situ conservation, with emphasis on maize systems in Mexico. Another area of Economics Program research consists of assessing the long-term demand and supply of wheat and maize. In this work we collaborate closely with IFPRI, Stanford University, and other institutions. We have supported the IFPRI 2020 projections by providing data and information on wheat and maize and will be actively involved in further iterations of that work. With Stanford University we are developing a project to assess the demand/supply of maize in China. We also plan to work with Asian national research systems to address the consequences of the exploding demand for maize in Asia, particularly for livestock feed. We anticipate that the information obtained from all of the research described here will enhance our efforts in research priority setting and resource allocation for wheat and maize. We would like to improve our capabilities in research priority setting methods, including methods for setting priorities across crops and regions and also across research activities dedicated to a particular crop, such as crop improvement versus crop management research. We hope to work with several collaborators on this effort, including the University of California-Davis, North Carolina State University, and Virginia Tech.