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The global wheat improvement system: prospects for enhancing efficiency in the presence of spillovers

Author: Maredia, M.K.
Author: Byerlee, D.
Year: 1999
ISSN: 0188-2465
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10883/992
Abstract: Through the global analysis and country-level case studies, this report analyzes the efficiency of investments in wheat improvement research at a disaggregated level and explores a range of options for restructuring research programs to enhance efficiency. Particular attention is devoted to evaluating "spillovers" (i.e., benefits which flow from one program to another) that result from large research systems with the potential to exploit economies of size and scope. The impacts of such spillovers on both research productivity and research strategy are explored, as are the relative role of international agricultural research centers (IARCs) and national agricultural research systems (NARS) in generating technology. The homogeneity of agroecological environments across developing countries is clarified and a megaenvironment classification system is described. The authors address the question of whether research managers should suppress genotype-by-environment (GxE) interactions and develop widely adapted varieties or exploit GxE interactions and develop specifically adapted varieties. Econometric evidence is presented to suggest that broadly adapted varieties may be more robust and create greater spillovers than has previously been reported. Research costs and intensities in developing countries are shown to be of the same magnitude or higher than in industrialized countries because the former have a large number of scientists per research program combined with a smaller mandate area for each program. Evidence suggests that many countries or regions within a country are investing more than is economically justifiable in wheat improvement research, either because of the small size of their mandate area or because they could capture research spillins at lower costs- or, more commonly both. A cost-benefit framework is used to assess the threshold levels of wheat production in a mandate region required to justify a breeding program rather than a testing program. The results indicate that many research programs could significantly increase their efficiency by reducing their research programs and screening varieties developed elsewhere. A case study from India reveals that investment inefficiencies at the sub-national level have frequently been underestimated and that large nationally mandated programs have a comparative advantage in generating successful technologies across wide areas. A case study of Australia clarifies the role of spillovers in industrialized countries. The report has important implications at the conceptual level in the methods used for research evaluation and at the policy level for decisions on crop improvement research.
Format: PDF
Language: English
Publisher: CIMMYT
Serie: CIMMYT Research Report ; 5
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 CIMMYT-Knowledge-Center@cgiar.org 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: Research Report
Region: Global
Place of Publication: Mexico
Pages: 130 pages
Keywords: Agroecological Zones
Agrovoc: DEVELOPING COUNTRIES
Agrovoc: RESEARCH
Agrovoc: RESEARCH INSTITUTIONS
Agrovoc: RESEARCH PROJECTS
Agrovoc: RESEARCH POLICIES
Agrovoc: RESEARCH SUPPORT
Agrovoc: SUBSIDIES
Agrovoc: WHEAT
Agrovoc: GENOTYPE ENVIRONMENT INTERACTION
Agrovoc: PLANT BREEDING
Agrovoc: ORGANIZATION OF RESEARCH
Agrovoc: PROJECT EVALUATION
Agrovoc: EFFICIENCY
Agrovoc: PRODUCTIVITY
Agrovoc: DIFFUSION OF INFORMATION
Agrovoc: TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER
Agrovoc: INNOVATION ADOPTION
Agrovoc: ECONOMIC ANALYSIS
Agrovoc: COST BENEFIT ANALYSIS


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This item appears in the following Collection(s)

  • Socioeconomics
    Including topics such as farming systems, markets, impact & targeting, innovations, and GIS
  • Wheat
    Wheat - breeding, phytopathology, physiology, quality, biotech

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