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Crop Improvement, Adoption and Impact of Improved Varieties in Food Crops in Sub-Saharan Africa

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Following on from the CGIAR study by Evenson and Gollin (published by CABI in 2003), this volume provides up-to-date estimates of adoption outcomes and productivity impacts of crop variety improvement research in sub-Saharan Africa. The book reports on the results of the DIIVA Project that focussed on the varietal generation, adoption and impact for 20 food crops in 30 countries. It also compares adoption outcomes in sub-Saharan Africa to those in South Asia, and guides future efforts for global agricultural research

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1: The Importance of Generating and Documenting Varietal Change in Sub-Saharan Africa

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1

The Importance of Generating and

Documenting Varietal Change in

Sub-Saharan Africa

T.S. Walker1* and J. Alwang2

Independent Researcher, Fletcher, North Carolina, USA; 2Department of

Agricultural and Applied Economics, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, USA

When a farmer in sub-Saharan Africa plants a food crop, the odds are increasing that the variety sown will be an improved variety touched by science. But more likely the farmer plants a local variety that is more or less the same as that cultivated by his or her parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. For some farmers, such as groundnut growers in West Africa and sweetpotato producers in East Africa, it is likely that the variety cultivated is a product of agricultural research but that the improved variety was bred more than 40 years ago.

A lack of dynamism in varietal change in food crop production represents a wasted opportunity that is potentially high, exacting a heavy toll on poor producers and consumers alike. Crop production consumed in the household and sold in the market may represent more than 50% of the income of poor farmers. Expenditures on staple and secondary food crops may eat up more than 60–70% of the budget of poor consumers.

 

2: Investments in and Impacts of Crop Improvement Research in Africa

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Investments in and Impacts of Crop

Improvement Research in Africa

J. Alwang*

Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Virginia Tech,

Blacksburg, Virginia, USA

Because agricultural productivity in sub-Saharan

Africa (SSA) has historically been low and continues to lag other regions of the world, there is increasing interest in understanding how research investments in the region are associated with productivity growth. To understand this relationship, it is important to begin with an assessment of historical investments in agricultural research. Research investments in support of SSA agriculture have received wide attention in the development literature and these studies have produced a broadly consistent picture. Investments in agricultural research and development (R&D) in SSA started from a very low base immediately following independence in the late

1950s and early 1960s. Investment grew at a rapid rate in the 1960s and through the 1970s and 1980s, but slowed midway into the 1980s and declined in the 1990s. Since 2000, R&D investments in the region have increased and growth in research expenditures was robust through 2008, the last year for which comprehensive data are available.

 

3: Relevant Concepts and Hypotheses in Assessing the Performance of Food Crop Improvement in Sub-Saharan Africa

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Relevant Concepts and Hypotheses in

Assessing the Performance of Food Crop

Improvement in Sub-Saharan Africa

T.S. Walker*

Independent Researcher, Fletcher, North Carolina, USA

and the understanding of farmer demand for technologies that suit their circumstances. Relative to other investments in economic development, genetic crop improvement programmes are not costly activities, but they require a recurring expenditure on an adequate number of skilled scientists combined with sufficient operating budgets to get the job done year after year. ‘Adequate’ and ‘sufficient’ are not rigorously defined in the literature; however, comparative evidence across countries and crops and over time establishes some orders of magnitude that are discussed in

Chapter 5–14 and in Chapters 18 and 19 include the synthetic concluding chapters of this volume.

From the multiple inputs that go into crop improvement, we focus only on one, the number of research scientists by discipline. This restricted emphasis is conditioned by several considerations. The main intent of the DIIVA Project was to estimate adoption of modern crop varieties in sub-Saharan Africa. Outputs and outcomes were the primary concerns. Moreover, as described

 

4: Coverage, Data and Methods in Assessing the Performance of Food Crop Improvement in Sub-Saharan Africa

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Coverage, Data and Methods in

Assessing the Performance of Food Crop

Improvement in Sub-Saharan Africa

T.S. Walker*

Independent Researcher, Fletcher, North Carolina, USA

Introduction

This chapter was written to provide a reference for readers who want to understand the context underlying the substantive results reported in this volume. It describes the data and how they were collected.

A major objective of the Diffusion and Impact of Improved Varieties in Africa (DIIVA) Project was to provide comprehensive information on the geographical spread of improved crop varieties in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Information on inputs, outputs and outcomes associated with diffusion of modern varieties was also sought. Data collection began in 2010 and continued into 2012.

Here, we use 2010 as the point of the reference to describe the DIIVA data set. Comparable data assembled in the 1998 Initiative and reported in

Evenson and Gollin (2003) are described in the next chapter. In general, the data collected in the late 1990s were more variable from CG Center to

 

5: Genetic Improvement of the Crops in the 1998 Initiative: Historical Context and Exploratory Analysis

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Genetic Improvement of the Crops in the 1998 Initiative: Historical Context and Exploratory Analysis

T.S. Walker*

Independent Researcher, Fletcher, North Carolina, USA

Introduction

The 1998 Initiative provided a point of reference for the Diffusion and Impact of Improved Varieties in Africa (DIIVA) Project, but it was a messy base­ line. Roughly, the same types of data were gathered by participating CG Centers (Institutes within the Consultative Group on International Agri­ cultural Research); however, uniform methods and protocols were not used. This variation across crops is described in Appendix 5.1.

Could a pooled analysis of these somewhat disparate data sets lead to a viable benchmark for comparing results over time? Economists at

CIMMYT (Centro Internacional de Mejoramien­ to de Maiz y Trigo; International Center for the

Improvement of Maize and Wheat) and the West

Africa Rice Development Association (WARDA; now AfricaRice) did undertake an analysis of their data sets for sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).

 

6: The Effectiveness of Crop Improvement Programmes from the Perspectives of Varietal Output and Adoption: Cassava, Cowpea, Soybean and Yam in Sub-Saharan Africa and Maize in West and Central Africa

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The Effectiveness of

Crop Improvement Programmes from the Perspectives of Varietal Output and

Adoption: Cassava, Cowpea, Soybean and Yam in Sub-Saharan Africa and

Maize in West and Central Africa

A.D. Alene,1* T. Abdoulaye,1 J. Rusike,1 V. Manyong1 and T.S. Walker2

1

International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA, various locations);

2

Independent Researcher, Fletcher, North Carolina, USA

Introduction1

In this chapter, varietal output, adoption and change are assessed for five of the 20 food crops covered in the Diffusion and Impact of Improved

Varieties in Africa (DIIVA) Project. The chapter evaluates the performance of genetic improvement programmes in cassava, cowpea, soybean and yam for sub-Saharan Africa and maize improvement in West and Central Africa.

It is hard to overstate the importance of these crops for the livelihoods of the rural and urban poor in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Cassava is the most widely grown root crop and the second most important food staple after maize that provides more than half of the dietary calories for more than 200 million people (Nweke et al., 2002).

 

7: Assessing the Effectiveness of Agricultural R&D for Groundnut, Pearl Millet, Pigeonpea and Sorghum in West and Central Africa and East and Southern Africa

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Assessing the Effectiveness of

Agricultural R&D for Groundnut, Pearl

Millet, Pigeonpea and Sorghum in West and

Central Africa and East and Southern Africa

J. Ndjeunga,1* K. Mausch2 and F. Simtowe3

International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)

West and Central Africa, Niamey Niger; 2ICRISAT, Nairobi;

3

CIMMYT, Nairobi (formerly ICRISAT, Nairobi), Kenya

1

Introduction1

Arable land in sub-Saharan Africa is often ­cultivated during seasonal rains in regions where the supply of rainfall exceeds the demand for rainfall for only 2–7 months of the year. These rainfall supply and demand conditions define rainfed agriculture in the semi-arid tropics (SAT). In 1972, the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) was ­e stablished in India with a global mandate to i­ncrease agricultural production in the SAT, thereby enhancing poor people’s welfare in these rainfall-unassured production environments.

Technically, the SAT encompassed large areas of Australia, Latin America and Asia, but the geographic focus at ICRISAT was always on peninsular India and sub-Saharan Africa where most rural and urban poor lived. By 2020, the total population of people in Asia’s and Africa’s

 

8: The Performance of Bean Improvement Programmes in Sub-Saharan Africa from the Perspectives of Varietal Output and Adoption

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The Performance of Bean Improvement

Programmes in Sub-Saharan Africa from the Perspectives of Varietal

Output and Adoption

R.A. Muthoni1* and R. Andrade2

CIAT, Uganda; 2Department of Applied Economics

(formerly of CIAT), University of Minnesota, USA

1

Introduction1

CIAT and other institutions, notably the

US-­led Collaborative Research Support Program

The International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CRSP), both invested in genetic improvement

(CIAT) was established in 1968 outside Cali, and sought to build research programmes in

Colombia. The Center was entrusted with a glo- Africa. In 1984, a regional breeding programme bal mandate for the genetic improvement of the was established in the Great Lakes Region of SSA. common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) that was It focused on breeding for resistance to bean pests domesticated in MesoAmerica and the Andes and diseases in conditions of low and declining of Latin America. Phaseolus was viewed as the soil fertility typical of small rural household proarchetypal small-farm household crop in Latin duction. To meet this challenge, the Pan-African

 

9: The Effectiveness of Potato and Sweetpotato Improvement Programmes from the Perspectives of Varietal Output and Adoption in Sub-Saharan Africa

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The Effectiveness of Potato and

Sweetpotato Improvement Programmes from the Perspectives of Varietal Output and Adoption in Sub-Saharan Africa

R. Labarta*

CIAT (formerly of CIP), Colombia

Introduction1

The International Potato Center (CIP) was one of the second wave of International Agricultural Research Centers established in the early

1970s. Its founding was based on the potential to improve human welfare via changes in potato productivity from applied research in developing countries. Although potato is viewed as a crop of the north, a tipping point was reached at about

10 million hectares and 150 million tonnes in the early 2000s when potato area and production in developing countries exceeded those in developed countries (Walker et al., 2011). Sweetpotato was added to CIP’s mandate in 1988.

Until then, the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) was responsible for the genetic improvement of sweetpotato in the

Consultative Group on International Agricultural

Research (CGIAR).

 

10: Evaluating the Key Aspects of the Performance of Genetic Improvement in Priority Food Crops and Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Case of Rice

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Evaluating the Key Aspects of the

Performance of Genetic Improvement in Priority Food Crops and Countries in

Sub-Saharan Africa: The Case of Rice

A. Diagne,*1 F.M. Kinkingninhoun-Medagbe,2

E. Amovin-Assagba,2 T. Nakelse,1 K. Sanni1 and A. Toure2

1

(Formerly AfricaRice); 2AfricaRice, Cotonou, Benin

1

Introduction

Worldwide, more than 3.5 billion people depend on rice for more than 20% of their daily calorie intake (IRRI, AfricaRice and CIAT, 2010). Annual rice consumption can be very high, exceeding

100 kg per capita in many Asian countries and in some African countries (e.g. Madagascar and

Liberia) as well. Rice consumption is growing faster than any other major commodity in Africa because it is a convenience food for the growing urban population.

Genetic improvement of rice in Africa is characterized by a rich if somewhat disjointed research history (Dalton and Guei, 2003). Two rice species (Oryza sativa from Asia and O. glaberrima domesticated in Africa), five rice growing environments (uplands, rainfed lowlands, irrigated lowlands, mangrove swamps and deep-water regions), several bilateral organizations (especially

 

11: Assessing the Effectiveness of Maize and Wheat Improvement from the Perspectives of Varietal Output and Adoption in East and Southern Africa

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Assessing the Effectiveness of Maize and Wheat Improvement from the

Perspectives of Varietal Output and

Adoption in East and Southern Africa

1

H. De Groote,1* Z. Gitonga,1 S. Mugo1 and T.S. Walker2

International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), Nairobi, Kenya;

2

Independent Researcher, Fletcher, North Carolina, USA

Introduction1

Throughout much of East and Southern Africa

(ESA), maize is the staple food crop. Excluding

South Africa, domestic wheat production in ESA only looms large in Ethiopia where wheat has been cultivated since ancient times. Ethiopia is a secondary centre of origin for bread wheat and is the centre of diversity for durum wheat, which is used to make pasta.

In the 20th century, maize and wheat improvement have followed markedly different paths in their quest for varietal change. Building on Norman Borlaug’s research at the Rockefeller

Foundation, the Centro International de Mejoramiento de Maiz y Trigo (CIMMYT), since its establishment in 1968, adopted a centralized breeding approach to wheat improvement (Lynam,

 

12: Varietal Output and Adoption in Barley, Chickpea, Faba Bean, Field Pea and Lentil in Ethiopia, Eritrea and Sudan

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Varietal Output and Adoption in

Barley, Chickpea, Faba Bean, Field Pea and

Lentil in Ethiopia, Eritrea and Sudan

Y.A. Yigezu,1* C. Yirga2 and A. Aw-Hassan1

International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), Amman,

Jordan; 2Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

1

Introduction1

The International Center for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA) was established in 1977 to undertake agricultural research relevant to the needs of people living in North Africa and

West Asia. It has a global responsibility for the improvement of barley, lentil and faba bean in the CGIAR (Consultative Group on International

Agricultural Research). Since its founding, it also has a regional responsibility for the improvement of chickpea. Even though ICARDA does not have a global or regional mandate for field peas, its former field pea programme has done some work in genetic improvement of this crop from which Ethiopia has benefited.

These five crops are also important in the

 

13: Scientific Strength in Rice Improvement Programmes, Varietal Outputs and Adoption of Improved Varieties in South Asia

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Scientific Strength in Rice

Improvement Programmes, Varietal

Outputs and Adoption of Improved

Varieties in South Asia

S. Pandey,* Ma. L. Velasco and T. Yamano

International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Manila, Philippines

Introduction

Rice is the staple crop of South Asia. The Green

Revolution resulting from the spread of improved rice varieties and associated technologies, such as irrigation and fertilizers, led to a rapid growth in rice production over the past six decades. This has resulted in improvements in food security for growing populations and in poverty reduction throughout the region (Hazell, 2010).

A key ingredient for the success of the

Green Revolution has been the development of improved rice cultivars. International and national rice breeding programmes have developed a large number of improved varieties (often known as modern varieties or MVs) during the past six decades. A productive breeding programme that generates a continuous flow of improved varieties is needed to overcome existing and evolving constraints to growth in rice productivity.

 

14: Analysing Scientific Strength and Varietal Generation, Adoption and Turnover in Peninsular India: The Case of Sorghum, Pearl Millet, Chickpea, Pigeonpea and Groundnut

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Analysing Scientific Strength and

Varietal Generation, Adoption and

Turnover in Peninsular India: The Case of Sorghum, Pearl Millet, Chickpea,

Pigeonpea and Groundnut

D. Kumara Charyulu,* M.C.S. Bantilan, A. Raja Laxmi and D. Shyam Moses

International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics,

Patancheru, India

Introduction

The importance of crop genetic improvement research is demonstrated by the Green Revolution, which led to a rapid increase in food production in Asia. Those productivity gains contributed to a reduction in poverty directly through increased farm-household income and indirectly through a long-term decline in the prices of food grains, which account for a large share of poor consumers’ expenditure. The success of crop genetic improvement research that led to the development of improved varieties of food crops is well documented

(Evenson and Gollin, 2003; Bantilan et al., 2013).

Despite the rapid progress made in the past, poverty is still concentrated in South Asia with around 571 million or one-third of the world’s poor, estimated at about 1.29 billion in 2011

 

15: Maize Technologies and Rural Poverty Reduction in Ethiopia

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Maize Technologies and Rural

Poverty Reduction in Ethiopia

D. Zeng,1* J. Alwang,2 G.W. Norton,2

B. Shiferaw,3 M. Jaleta4 and C. Yirga5

1

The University of Adelaide (formerly of Virginia Tech), Australia;

2

Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Virginia Tech;

3

Partnership for Economic Policy (formerly of CIMMYT-Nairobi),

Nairobi, Kenya; 4CIMMYT, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; 5Ethiopian Institute of

Agricultural Research, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Introduction

Maize is a widely grown food and cash crop in many environments in sub-Saharan Africa. In

Ethiopia, maize accounts for the largest share of production by volume and is produced by more farms than any other crop (Chamberlin and

Schmidt, 2012). Over time, area planted to maize has increased, especially in highland areas with reliable moisture; these are the same areas where the majority of the Ethiopian population is found (Taffesse et al., 2012). From the 1960s to 2009, the dietary calorie and protein contributions of maize to total consumption in ­Ethiopia have doubled to around 20% and 16%, respectively (Shiferaw et al., 2013). Maize, like other major cereals such as teff, wheat and sorghum, is mainly grown by smallholder farmers in

 

16: Impacts of Improved Bean Varieties on Poverty and Food Security in Uganda and Rwanda

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Impacts of Improved Bean Varieties on Poverty and Food Security in Uganda and Rwanda

C. Larochelle,1* J. Alwang,1 G.W. Norton,1

E. Katungi2 and R.A. Labarta3

1

Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Virginia Tech,

Virginia, USA; 2Pan Africa Bean Research Alliance, CIAT, Kampala,

Uganda; 3CIAT (formerly of CIP), Cali, Colombia

Introduction

A major objective of crop genetic improvement

(CGI) research is to enhance the productivity and quality of food crops and contribute to poverty reduction and food security. The common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) is an important subsistence crop for smallholding farmers in Rwanda and Uganda and elsewhere in sub-Saharan

­Africa (SSA). In countries where consumption is high, beans are a major source of dietary protein and provide other nutrients such as iron.

Rwanda has the highest per capita bean consumption in the world and consumption in

Uganda is significant in areas where beans are part of the average diet (Kalyebara and ­Buruchara,

2008). According to the Food and Agriculture

 

17: The Diffusion and Impact of Improved Food Crop Varieties in Sub-Saharan Africa

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The Diffusion and Impact of Improved

Food Crop Varieties in Sub-Saharan Africa

K. Fuglie* and J. Marder

Economic Research Service, US Department of Agriculture and Department of

Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of California, Davis, USA

Introduction

The Diffusion and Impact of Improved Varieties in Africa (DIIVA) data on the adoption of improved crop varieties in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA)1 tell a confounding story. On the one hand, there has been significant progress over the past decade in disseminating improved crop cultivars to farmers. By 2010, total area sown to improved varieties of food crops exceeded 37 million hectares

(mha), more than double the estimated area in

2000 (Walker et al., 2014). On the other hand, even this achievement represented only 35% of area planted to these crops in the countries included in the DIIVA surveys.2 In most cases, the rate of diffusion of new crop varieties appears to have been quite slow. Moreover, the impact of crop variety adoption on agricultural productivity in SSA is not well documented. Because the speed of diffusion of new technology is likely to be correlated with its profitability, the slow pace of diffusion in SSA suggests that the productivity impact of improved crop varieties may be limited.

 

18: Varietal Generation and Output

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Varietal Generation and Output

T.S. Walker,* A. Alene, J. Ndjuenga, R. Labarta, Y. Yigezu,

A. Diagne, R. Andrade, R. Muthoni Andriatsitohaina,

H. De Groote, K. Mausch, C. Yirga, F. Simtowe, E. Katungi,

W. Jogo, M. Jaleta, S. Pandey and D. Kumara Charyulu

The substantive findings in Chapters 6–17 are synthesized and reviewed in this and the following chapter, which draw heavily on Walker et al.,

2014. Findings are synthesized from two perspectives: a cross-sectional analysis across the

20 crops in 2009–2011 and a before-and-after comparison with the 1998 benchmark and the

2009–2011 data. Findings in this chapter are organized from the evaluation framework of inputs and outputs that was described in Chapter 3.

Hypotheses from that chapter are revisited at the end of each thematic section. Where appropriate, results from South Asia reported in Chapters 13 and 14 are cited to provide a spatial benchmark for the outputs of data analysis in sub-Saharan

Africa (SSA).

Varietal Generation: Full-Time

Equivalent Scientists by Crop

 

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