National and International Agricultural Research and Poverty: Findings in the case of wheat in China
The objective of this paper is to assess the economic and poverty impact of wheat research in China and the contribution of CIMMYT. Our results show that wheat research conducted by China and CIMMYT contributed significantly to increases in wheat production in China. These research benefits amounted respectively to 1.1 billion and 6.1 billion US dollars (measured in 2000 constant price) in 1982 and 1998. These represent 11.9 to 22.7 percent of the total value of wheat production. The impact of CIMMYT breeding research through direct sowing or use as breeding material is not very significant in China. However, these results may mask important variations across provinces within China. Offspring of CIMMYT varieties are mostly planted in Southwestern and Southern China, and are also found in Northeastern and Northwestern China. More importantly, increases in wheat production from wheat varietal improvement research helped to reduce rural poverty in China. Our estimates show that the number of rural poor in China declined by 2.7 million in 1982 and by 1.7 million in 1998 as a result of wheat breeding research. These reductions represent 1.4 percent and 4 percent of the total number of rural poor in China in 1982 and 1998 respectively.
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