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Costing the ex situ conservation of genetic resources: maize and wheat at CIMMYT

Author

Listed:
  • Pardey, Philip G.
  • Koo, Bonwoo
  • Wright, Brian D.
  • Van Dusen, M. Eric
  • Skovmand, Bent
  • Taba, Suketoshi

Abstract

Worldwide, the number of genebanks and the amount of seed stored in them has increased substantially over the past few decades. Most attention is focused on the likely benefits from conservation, but conserving germplasm involves costs whose nature and magnitude are largely unknown. In this paper we compile and use a set of cost data for wheat and maize stored in the CIMMYT genebank to address a number of questions. What is the cost of storing an accession of either crop for one more year, or, equivalently what is the benefit in terms of cost savings from eliminating duplicate accessions from the genebank? Relatedly, what is the cost from introducing a new accession into the genebank, given the decision to store it is revisited after one year? Does it make economic sense for CIMMYT to discard accessions that may be available elsewhere? As an extension of this line of inquiry it is possible to value the benefits from either consolidating genebanks or at least networking existing banks to reduce or eliminate duplicate holdings not needed for backup safety purposes. We present estimates of the size and scale economies evident in the CIMMYT operation as a basis for assessing the economics of consolidation. Genebanks represent a commitment to conserve seeds for the very long-run. In this study we report on these long-run costs for the CIMMYT genebank costs that are sensitive to the interest rate used and the protocols for periodically replenishing accessions that are shared with others or regenerating accessions whose viability gradually diminishes with age.

Suggested Citation

  • Pardey, Philip G. & Koo, Bonwoo & Wright, Brian D. & Van Dusen, M. Eric & Skovmand, Bent & Taba, Suketoshi, 1999. "Costing the ex situ conservation of genetic resources: maize and wheat at CIMMYT," EPTD discussion papers 52, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:eptddp:52
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    Cited by:

    1. Falck Zepeda, José & Barreto-Triana, Nancy & Baquero-Haeberlin, Irma & Espitia-Malagón, Eduardo & Fierro-Guzmán, Humberto & López, Nancy, 2006. "An exploration of the potential benefits of integrated pest management systems and the use of insect resistant potatoes to control the Guatemalan Tuber Moth (Tecia solanivora Povolny) in Ventaquemada,," EPTD discussion papers 152, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. Linacre, Nicholas & Falck-Zepeda, José & Komen, John & MacLaren, Donald, 2006. "Risk assessment and management of genetically modified organisms under Australia's Gene Technology Act:," EPTD discussion papers 157, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    3. Caracciolo, Francesco & Gotor, Elisabetta & Holloway, Garth J. & Watts, Jamie, 2008. "The Origin, Development And Structure Of Demand For Plant Genetic Resources. The Impact Of The In Trust Agreements To The CGIAR Collections Availability," 82nd Annual Conference, March 31 - April 2, 2008, Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester, UK 36773, Agricultural Economics Society.
    4. Paul J. Block & Kenneth Strzepek & Mark W. Rosegrant & Xinshen Diao, 2008. "Impacts of considering climate variability on investment decisions in Ethiopia," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 39(2), pages 171-181, September.
    5. Gotor, Elisabetta & Caracciolo, Francesco & Watts, Jamie, 2010. "The Perceived Impact of the In-Trust Agreements on CGIAR Germplasm Availability: An Assessment of Bioversity International's Institutional Activities," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(10), pages 1486-1493, October.
    6. Gruère, Guillaume & Giuliani, Alessandra & Smale, Melinda, 2006. "Marketing underutilized plant species for the benefit of the poor: a conceptual framework," EPTD discussion papers 154, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    7. Di Falco, Salvatore & Chavas, Jean-Paul & Smale, Melinda, 2006. "Farmer management of production risk on degraded lands: the role of wheat genetic diversity in Tigray Region, Ethiopia," EPTD discussion papers 153, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    8. Gruère, Guillaume P., 2006. "An analysis of trade related international regulations of genetically modified food and their effects on developing countries:," EPTD discussion papers 147, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    9. Smale, Melinda & Zambrano, Patricia & Falck-Zepeda, José & Gruère, Guillaume, 2006. "Parables: applied economics literature about the impact of genetically engineered crop varieties in developing economies," EPTD discussion papers 158, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

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