Identifying Promising Locations For Managing Crop Biodiversity On Farms

3.1 High benefit-cost ratios

Not all global locations are equally promising candidates for managing crop biological diversity on farms. The highest benefit-cost ratios for on-farm conservation of diverse crop genetic resources occurs where the utility farmers derive from managing them as well as the public value associated with their biological diversity are high. This occurs conceptually in area II of Fig. 5-2. Since farmers are already bearing the costs of maintaining diversity de facto in those areas and they reveal a preference for doing so, the costs of public interventions to support conservation will also be least. Where genetic diversity is assessed as relatively low and farmers derive few benefits from it, there is no need to invest in any form of conservation (III, Fig. 5-2). Where the contribution to diversity is great but farmers derive little private value from it, ex situ conservation is the only option (I, Fig. 5-2). Where there is little diversity but farmers care a lot about it, there is no need for public investment at all since no value is associated with conservation (IV, Fig. 5-2).

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