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Insecticide Use on Vegetables in Ghana: Would GM Seed Benefit Farmers?

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  • Horna, J. Daniela
  • Smale, Melinda
  • Al-Hassan, Ramatu M.
  • Falck-Zepeda, Jose Benjamin
  • Timpo, Samuel E.

Abstract

Tomato, cabbage and garden egg (African eggplant, or Solanum Aethiopicum) are important crops for small-scale farmers and migrants in the rural and peri-urban areas of Ghana. Genetic modification (GM) has the potential to alleviate poverty through combating yield losses from pests and diseases in these crops, while reducing health risks from application of hazardous chemicals. This ex-ante study uses farm survey data to gauge the potential for adoption of genetically-engineered varieties, estimate the potential impact of adoption on farm profits, and highlight economic differences among the three crops. Farmer's expenditures on insecticides are below the economic optimum in all three crops, and the estimated function for damage abatement shows that insecticide amounts are significant determinants of cabbage yields only. Nonetheless, yield losses from the pests and diseases affect insecticide use. Stochastic budget analysis also indicates a higher rate of return to vegetable production with the use of resistant seeds relative to status quo, even considering the technology transfer fee for GM seeds. Non-insecticide users could accrue higher marginal benefits than current insecticide users. Comparing among vegetable crops with distinct economic characteristics provides a wider perspective on the potential impact of GM technology. Until now, GM eggplant is the only vegetable crop that has been analyzed in the peer-reviewed, applied economics literature. This is the first analysis that includes African eggplant.

Suggested Citation

  • 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).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea08:6506
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Xingliang Ma & Melinda Smale & David J. Spielman & Patricia Zambrano & Hina Nazli & Fatima Zaidi, 2017. "A Question of Integrity: Variants of Bt Cotton, Pesticides and Productivity in Pakistan," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(2), pages 366-385, June.
    2. Falck-Zepeda, Jose Benjamin & Gruère, Guillaume P. & Sithole-Niang, Idah (ed.), 2013. "Genetically modified crops in Africa: Economic and policy lessons from countries south of the Sahara," IFPRI books, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), number 978-0-89629-795-1.
    3. Maria Christie & Emily Houweling & Laura Zseleczky, 2015. "Mapping gendered pest management knowledge, practices, and pesticide exposure pathways in Ghana and Mali," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 32(4), pages 761-775, December.
    4. 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).
    5. Honest Machekano & Brighton M. Mvumi & Casper Nyamukondiwa, 2017. "Diamondback Moth, Plutella xylostella (L.) in Southern Africa: Research Trends, Challenges and Insights on Sustainable Management Options," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(2), pages 1-23, February.
    6. Ma, Xingliang & Smale, Melinda & Spielman, David J. & Zambrano, Patricia & Nazli, Hina & Zaidi, Fatima, 2016. "Varietal integrity, damage abatement, and productivity: Evidence from the cultivation of Bt cotton in Pakistan:," IFPRI discussion papers 1520, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

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