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A trait-based model of the potential demand for a genetically engineered food crop in a developing economy


  • Svetlana Edmeades
  • Melinda Smale


We predict the potential demand of smallholder farmers for genetically transformed varieties of a food crop, the cooking banana of the East African highlands. Farmer demand for planting material is derived in an agricultural household model that accounts for variety traits and missing markets. The demand for candidate host varieties is predicted using a Zero-Inflated Poisson (ZIP) regression system. The fitted model is used to illustrate the sensitivity of farmer demand for improved planting material to ("a") investments in research and development, represented by the effectiveness of gene insertion and expression, and ("b") other public investments in education, extension, and market infrastructure that support diffusion. By comparing the characteristics of agricultural households we demonstrate that the choice of host variety can have social consequences, favoring one rural population compared with another. Clients for transgenic banana planting material are likely to be poorer, subsistence-oriented farmers in areas greatly affected by biotic constraints. A model of this type might be useful in assessing the investments needed to support the systematic dissemination of improved planting material. The approach can be generalized to other crop biotechnologies for smallholder farming systems, particularly in developing economies. Copyright 2006 International Association of Agricultural Economists.

Suggested Citation

  • Svetlana Edmeades & Melinda Smale, 2006. "A trait-based model of the potential demand for a genetically engineered food crop in a developing economy," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 35(3), pages 351-361, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:agecon:v:35:y:2006:i:3:p:351-361

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Nielsen, Chantal Pohl & Thierfelder, Karen & Robinson, Sherman, 2001. "Genetically modified foods, trade, and developing countries," TMD discussion papers 77, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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    1. Nazli, Hina & Smale, Melinda, 2016. "Dynamics of variety change on wheat farms in Pakistan: A duration analysis," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 24-33.
    2. Nassul S. Kabunga & Thomas Dubois & Matin Qaim, 2012. "Yield Effects of Tissue Culture Bananas in Kenya: Accounting for Selection Bias and the Role of Complementary Inputs," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(2), pages 444-464, June.
    3. Horna, J. Daniela & Smale, Melinda & Al-Hassan, Ramatu M. & Falck-Zepeda, Jose Benjamin & Timpo, Samuel E., 2008. "Insecticide Use on Vegetables in Ghana: Would GM Seed Benefit Farmers?," 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida 6506, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    4. Kenneth, Akankwasa & Gerald, Ortmann & Edilegnaw, Wale & Wilberforce, Tushemereirwe, 2012. "Ex-Ante Adoption of New Cooking Banana (Matooke) Hybrids in Uganda Based on Farmers' Perceptions," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 123302, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    5. Dorothé Yong Ngondjeb & Bernadette Dia Kamgnia & Patrick Nje & Michel Havard, 2014. "L’Évaluation économique de l'investissement dans la conservation des sols: Le cas des aménagements antiérosifs dans le bassin versant du lac Lagdo au Cameroun," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 62(3), pages 393-410, September.
    6. Kikulwe, Enoch & Birol, Ekin & Wesseler, Justus & Falck-Zepeda, José, 2009. "A latent class approach to investigating consumer demand for genetically modified staple food in a developing country: The case of GM bananas in Uganda," IFPRI discussion papers 938, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    7. Kikulwe, Enoch M. & Birol, Ekin & Wesseler, Justus & Falck-Zepeda, Jose Benjamin, 2013. "Benefits, costs, and consumer perceptions of the potential introduction of a fungus-resistant banana in Uganda and policy implications," IFPRI book chapters,in: Falck-Zepeda, Jose Benjamin & Gruère, Guillaume P. & Sithole-Niang, Idah (ed.), Genetically modified crops in Africa: Economic and policy lessons from countries south of the Sahara, chapter 4, pages 99-141 International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    8. Philippidis, George & Resano-Ezcaray, Helena & Sanjuan-Lopez, Ana Isabel, 2011. "Capturing zero trade values in gravity equations of trade: A disaggregated sectoral analysis," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 114760, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    9. Dethier, Jean-Jacques & Effenberger, Alexandra, 2012. "Agriculture and development: A brief review of the literature," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 175-205.
    10. Soleri, Daniela & Cleveland, David A. & Glasgow, Garrett & Sweeney, Stuart H. & Cuevas, Flavio Aragón & Fuentes, Mario R. & Ríos L., Humberto, 2008. "Testing assumptions underlying economic research on transgenic food crops for Third World farmers: Evidence from Cuba, Guatemala and Mexico," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(4), pages 667-682, November.
    11. K. Akankwasa & G. F. Ortmann & E. Wale & W. K. Tushemereirwe, 2016. "Early-Stage Adoption of Improved Banana “Matooke” Hybrids in Uganda: A Count Data Analysis Based on Farmers’ Perceptions," International Journal of Innovation and Technology Management (IJITM), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 13(01), pages 1-26, February.
    12. Enoch Kikulwe & Ekin Birol & José Falck-Zepeda & Justus Wesseler, 2010. "Rural Consumers’ Preferences for Banana Attributes in Uganda: Is There a Market for GM Staples?," Chapters,in: Choice Experiments in Developing Countries, chapter 16 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    13. Lambrecht, Isabel & Vanlauwe, Bernard & Merckx, Roel & Maertens, Miet, 2014. "Understanding the Process of Agricultural Technology Adoption: Mineral Fertilizer in Eastern DR Congo," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 132-146.
    14. Resano, H. & Sanjuan, Ana Isabel, 2008. "An hedonic approach applied to scanner data on cured ham purchases in Spain," 2008 International Congress, August 26-29, 2008, Ghent, Belgium 44383, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    15. Matthew Schnurr & Sarah Mujabi-Mujuzi, 2014. "“No one asks for a meal they’ve never eaten.” Or, do African farmers want genetically modified crops?," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 31(4), pages 643-648, December.
    16. Melinda Smale & Michael T. Diressie & Ekin Birol, 2016. "Understanding the potential for adoption of high-iron varieties of pearl millet in Maharashtra, India: what explains their popularity?," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 8(2), pages 331-344, April.
    17. Falck-Zepeda, José & Kilkuwe, Enoch & Wesseler, Justus, 2008. "Introducing a genetically modified banana in Uganda: Social benefits, costs, and consumer perceptions," IFPRI discussion papers 767, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    18. Eicher, Carl K. & Maredia, Karim & Sithole-Niang, Idah, 2005. "Biotechnology and the African Farmer," Staff Papers 11495, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    19. Areal, Francisco J. & Riesgo, Laura & Gómez-Barbero, Manuel & Rodríguez-Cerezo, Emilio, 2012. "Consequences of a coexistence policy on the adoption of GMHT crops in the European Union," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 401-411.
    20. Horna, Daniela & Zambrano, Patricia & Falck-Zepeda, Jose Benjamin & Sengooba, Theresa & Kyotalimye, Miriam, 2013. "Genetically modified cotton in Uganda: An ex ante evaluation," IFPRI book chapters,in: Falck-Zepeda, Jose Benjamin & Gruère, Guillaume P. & Sithole-Niang, Idah (ed.), Genetically modified crops in Africa: Economic and policy lessons from countries south of the Sahara, chapter 3, pages 61-97 International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

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