Implications for Incentives

The simple model sketched out above shows how recharge research is important to induced innovation. It does not address very directly the matter of incentives for undertaking R& D. Nor does it address inter-industry or geographic spillovers. As the section on plant breeding and agricultural research below will show, both problems are central for this field of research. Perhaps it is because of the severity of both problems that we observe them being addressed as effectively as they have...

Abbreviations

ARBN Asian Rice Biotechnology Network ARS Agricultural Research Service BSE bovine spongiform encephalitis CBD Convention on Biological Diversity CGIAR Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research CIAT Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical CIMMYT International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre CIRAD Centre de Cooperation Internationale en Research COP Conference of the Parties to the CBD EMBRAPA Empresa Brasiliera de Pesquisa Agropecuaria ENEA National Agency for...

The Challenges Associated with Exotic Germplasm

The approach of using new germplasm, especially exotic germplasm, depends on the current yield level. If this is low, any introduction of exotic germplasm will permit increases in the yield in a more rapid way than if a higher yielding material is currently in use if the current yield is high it will take a longer time to beat this yield. Corn breeders working in the US during the 1920s and 1930s tried with extreme patience and hard work to source useful genetics from open-pollinated varieties....

Pioneer HiBred International Inc Miami Florida and Johnston Iowa USA

The environment is subject to increased pressures that endanger the sustain-ability of life. Rapid growth in human populations, poverty and inefficient agriculture all contribute to the endangerment of sustainable biological cycles that are essential in order to maintain quality of life. The uncertainties about the very origins and foundation of human civilization illuminate two enduring and fundamental truths. First, agriculture requires more effort per unit area to produce food than did the...

Followup to the CBD Current Negotiations for the Realization of Farmers Rights in the Context of the Revision of the

The Conference for the Adoption of the Agreed Text of the CBD also adopted complementary Resolution 3 that identified farmers' rights as an outstanding issue not addressed by the Convention, and recognized that solutions should be sought within the FAO Global System. Following the entry into force of the Convention, countries, through the FAO Conference, adopted Resolution 7 93 for the negotiation of the revision of the International Undertaking in harmony with the Convention, including inter...

The International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources and the Development of Farmers Rights

The International Undertaking was adopted by FAO Conference Resolution 8 83. It was the first comprehensive international agreement concerning PGRs. With the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture as a forum where countries can discuss and negotiate on matters related to genetic resources and agriculture, it is one of the foundations of the FAO Global System for the Conservation and Sustainable Utilization of Plant Genetic Resources. The Undertaking seeks to 'ensure that plant...

Concluding Remarks

The last few years have seen a dramatic increase in public awareness and of political debates on the subject of PGRs. These resources (within the contexts of biodiversity and biotechnologies) have become the focus of many international negotiations (including TRIPS WTO, the CBD, UNCED's Agenda 21, the CGIAR restructuring), as well as a bridge between environment and development. The concept of farmers' rights is even more important and more urgent following the TRIPS (Trade-related Aspects of...

Compensation for Germplasm Resources Northern and Southern Approaches

Discussions of intellectual property rights issues relating to plant breeding have been vigorous and extensive over the last few decades. The legal protection of new plant material has expanded quite rapidly in the North over this period, especially in the United States. The latter insisted on the recent GATT negotiations on the Agreement on 'Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, Including Trade in Counterfeit Goods' (TRIPS), which calls for protection of plant varieties...

Conclusions

Economic Returns from Genetic Resources The importance of genetic resources will be easier to demonstrate when economic payoffs ensue from safeguarding those resources that are the product of several thousands of years of evolution and human experimentation. This is very difficult to demonstrate, since precise information about the use of genetic resources does not exist. We can cite some examples of the use of maize genetic resources. Around 20-30 broadly based improved synthetic populations...

The True Beneficiaries of New Seeds

To focus on profits from seed sales as the measure of the total value of genetic resources is to miss the forest for the trees. The total benefits derived from use of agricultural genetic resources is far larger than the profits of seed sellers. The major achievement of breeders, using genes generally derived from landraces, has been to increase food supply from available resources, thus reducing food prices, or preventing food price increases, as population has multiplied over the past...

Empirical Approaches to Assessing Value

Given that plant genetic materials have an economic value, what are effective ways of measuring this value Among economists, the predominant viewpoint is that genetic resources can be viewed like any other public or non-market good (Brown, 1990). The fundamental problem in placing values on such goods is that they are seldom sold on markets. When they are, there are serious problems in interpreting the market prices as indicators of true (social) value. Several recent surveys of empirical...

Department of Economics and Institutions University of Rome Tor Vergata Rome Italy

Durum breeding in Italy may be considered to have started in the 1920s. At that time, within the thousands of local durum populations, single individuals were selected ('genealogical selection') as starting points of new varieties. This approach went on for three decades, up to the 1950s, and gave origin to a host of improved varieties (Cappelli, Azizia, Dauno, Duro di Puglia, Tripolino, Sardo, Russello, Saragolla, Eiti 6, among others), some of which were destined to remain present on the...

Economic Interpretation of the Results

The estimated impact elasticities provide the percentage increase in yields from a 1 increase in the area planted to varieties containing the indicated genetic content. Consider the variable DOINTCRE. Forty-one per cent of Indian rice acreage in 1984 was planted to varieties containing pre-1975 international core materials. These are effectively the original green revolution genetic resources. The elasticity of 2.00 tells us that if a 1 expansion in old international core were to occur at the...

Valuing Genetic Resources

Economic valuation of genetic resources can contribute to policy and management decisions in several ways. First, estimates of the total economic value of landraces, wild relatives of crop species, and biodiversity in general can help to guide allocations of resources between biodiversity conservation and other socially valuable endeavours. In addition, economic valuation and decision models can be used to guide resource allocation between various types of genetic resource conservation,...

Multiple Periods Without Recharge

In practice, we do not observe the single period optimal search implied by equations (7), (11) and (12). Typically we observe multiple-year R& D programmes even for narrowly defined objectives. Could we treat this multiple-year sequence as simply a long period instead of a sequence of periods Certainly not in plant breeding. Plant crosses (genetic combinations) must be evaluated and selected over several generations. Plant 'types' (quantitative) are built with...

References

Anderson, E. and Brown, W.L. 1952 The history of the common maize varieties of the United States corn belt. Agricultural History 26, 2-8. Baker, R. 1984 Some of the open pollinated varieties that contributed most to modern hybrid corn. In Proceedings of the 20th Annual Illinois Corn Breeders School, University of Illinois, Champaign, Illinois, pp. 1-9. CIMMYT 1988 Recent Advances in the Conservation and Utilization of Genetic Resources Proceedings of the Global Maize Germplasm Workshop. Mexico....