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A conceptual framework for valuing on-farm genetic resources

Author: Bellon, M.R.
Author: Smale, M.
Year: 1998
ISSN: 0258-8587
Descriptors: Crop management
Descriptors: Economic analysis
Descriptors: Genetic distance
Descriptors: Genetic variation
Descriptors: Plant production
Descriptors: Productivity
Descriptors: Genetic resources
Abstract: This paper proposes a preliminary conceptual framework designed to support strategic decisions about which crop populations-in a well-defined reference area within a crop's center of diversity-are suitable candidates for ex situ and on-farm conservation. It is assumed that the reference area has already been identified based on prior beliefs about its relative importance among other potential conservation areas. The framework draws on aspects of characteristics models and on the theory of impure public goods. It enables us to begin answering questions about how breeding interventions and policy incentives affect farmers' variety choice and about how variety choice, seed flows, and seed selection affect genetic diversity. The framework can be applied to the choice of conservation strategies in a reference question, using utility index to present value in current use and using genetic distance as a proxy for evolutionary potential. The application of the framework can be directly interpreted in terms of the relative costs of alternative conservation strategies. To provide a more dynamic view of farmer management of diversity, the framework can also be used to investigate how changes in the exogenous technical, socioeconomic, and cultural parameters that condition farmers' decision influence the array of varieties they maintain. The relative importance of factors measured at different scales can also be tested (e.g., variety characteristics, household characteristics). In this way, the framework can help develop policy recommendations to support on-farm conservation of genetic resources. Even so, it is important to recognize that in some cases changes in exogenous environmental and socioeconomic factors may be so overwhelming that farmers' incentives to maintain varieties will disappear, despite substantial efforts to make them attractive.
Language: English
Publisher: CIMMYT
Serie: CIMMYT Economics Working Paper
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: Book
Region: Global
Place: Mexico
Pages: 24 pages
Serie number: 98-05
Audicence: Researchers

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This item appears in the following Collection(s)

  • Genetic Resources
    Genetic Resources including germplasm collections, wild relatives, genotyping, genomics, and IP
  • Socioeconomics
    Including topics such as farming systems, markets, impact & targeting, innovations, and GIS

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