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Crop genetic resource policy: towards a research agenda

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  • Wright, Brian D.

Abstract

Since the 1970's, the worldwide capacity of genebanks for ex situ conservation of crop genetic resources has increased greatly. This has increased the accessibility of landraces and wild and weedy relatives to crop breeders; in situ conservation, though essential, is not an efficient means of furnishing genebanking services. But utilization of genebank resources has not kept pace. The set of popular cultivars in major crops is typically rather small, and their ancestry encompasses only a small fraction of the genetic diversity currently available in other cultivars. Discussions of farmers' rights that focus on compensation for current incorporation of farmers' varieties in new cultivars have diverted attention from the question of why so little of the newly accessible genetic diversity is currently being utilized by public and private breeders. To optimize the future provision of genebank services, research is needed on the costs of genebanks, the market for their services, the use of genetic resources by breeders, and the implications of recognition of farmers' rights, evolving intellectual property rights, continued funding problems and developments in biotechnology.

Suggested Citation

  • Wright, Brian D., 1996. "Crop genetic resource policy: towards a research agenda," EPTD discussion papers 19, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:eptddp:19
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    File URL: http://www.ifpri.org/sites/default/files/publications/eptdp19.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. A. J. Singh & D. Byerlee, 1990. "Relative Variability In Wheat Yields Across Countries And Over Time," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(1), pages 21-32.
    2. Williams,Jeffrey C. & Wright,Brian D., 2005. "Storage and Commodity Markets," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521023399, March.
    3. Norton-Griffiths, Michael & Southey, Clive, 1995. "The opportunity costs of biodiversity conservation in Kenya," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 125-139, February.
    4. Evenson, Robert E & Gollin, Douglas, 1997. "Genetic Resources, International Organizations, and Improvement in Rice Varieties," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, pages 471-500.
    5. Brian D. Wright & Jeffrey C. Williams, 1988. "Measurement of Consumer Gains from Market Stabilization," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 70(3), pages 616-627.
    6. Constantine, John H & Alston, Julian M & Smith, Vincent H, 1994. "Economic Impacts of the California One-Variety Cotton Law," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 951-974, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ron Duncan, 1998. "An Optimistic View of World Food Prospects," Agenda - A Journal of Policy Analysis and Reform, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics, vol. 5(1), pages 73-82.
    2. Frisvold, George B. & Condon, Peter T., 1998. "The convention on biological diversity and agriculture: Implications and unresolved debates1," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 551-570, April.

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