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Genetically-engineered crops and their effects on varietal diversity: a case of Bt eggplant in India

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  • Deepthi Kolady

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  • William Lesser

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Abstract

Building on the evidence from the impact of hybrid technology on varietal diversity loss, this paper explores ex ante the possible effects of introduction of Bt eggplant on on-farm varietal diversity of eggplant. The public–private partnership involved in the development and introduction of Bt eggplant provides a great opportunity to develop locally-adapted Bt open-pollinated varieties (OPVs) instead of having a limited number of generic hybrid varieties. The study shows that introduction of multiple Bt OPVs by public institutions will reduce the rate of replacement of OPVs by hybrids and thus help in conserving varietal diversity. However, the cost of developing multiple Bt OPVs is high; hence policy makers need to look at alternative measures to maintain the varietal diversity of crops such as eggplant in its centers of diversity. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Suggested Citation

  • Deepthi Kolady & William Lesser, 2012. "Genetically-engineered crops and their effects on varietal diversity: a case of Bt eggplant in India," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 29(1), pages 3-15, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:agrhuv:v:29:y:2012:i:1:p:3-15 DOI: 10.1007/s10460-011-9320-3
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Smale, Melinda, 1997. "The Green Revolution and wheat genetic diversity: Some unfounded assumptions," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(8), pages 1257-1269, August.
    2. Vijesh V. Krishna & Matin Qaim, 2008. "Potential impacts of Bt eggplant on economic surplus and farmers' health in India," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, pages 167-180.
    3. Alistair Ulph & Lucy O'Shea, 2002. "Biodiversity and Optimal Policies Towards R&D and the Growth of Genetically Modified Crops," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, pages 505-520.
    4. José Benjamin Falck-Zepeda & Greg Traxler & Robert G. Nelson, 2000. "Surplus Distribution from the Introduction of a Biotechnology Innovation," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 82(2), pages 360-369.
    5. Timo Goeschl & Timothy Swanson, 2000. "Genetic use restriction technologies and the diffusion of yield gains to developing countries," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., pages 1159-1178.
    6. Terri Raney & Prabhu Pingali, 2004. "Private Research and Public Goods: Implications of biotechnology for biodiversity," Working Papers 04-07, Agricultural and Development Economics Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO - ESA).
    7. Bhavani Shankar & Colin Thirtle, 2005. "Pesticide Productivity and Transgenic Cotton Technology: The South African Smallholder Case," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(1), pages 97-116.
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