Project Details

Tracking varietal change for future assessment of the impact of crop genetic improvement research in South Asia

Duration: 01/Nov/2010 - 30/Apr/2012

Locations: South Asia,Asia

Project contact: MCS Bantilan

Donor: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-USA

CGIAR Research Program: Policies Institutions and Markets

This research project proposes to lay the groundwork for tracking the success and failures of crop improvement investments and for understanding the impact of those investments on poverty, nutrition, and food security. This comprehensive effort examines variety-specific diffusion for rice in five South Asian countries and for five dryland crops - sorghum, pearl millet, groundnut, pigeonpea and chickpea - in India. The effort also includes collecting the extent of adoption of improved cultivars which is an important determinant of the size of economic benefits in ex-post impact assessments of well-defined agricultural technologies. Despite the vital importance of a healthy crop improvement effort and a long history of research, current knowledge of the diffusion and impact of improved crop varieties remains incomplete in South Asia. In 1998, a global initiative on the ‘impact assessment of varietal change’ generated data on the adoption of improved crop varieties. That baseline data needs to be updated, widened, and deepened. Two main activities which drive this project are documenting key performance indicators of crop genetic improvement and collecting nationally representative survey data on varietal adoption.

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