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Economics of genomic tools for crop improvement Open Access


Other title
drought tolerance
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Komirenko, Zoia
Supervisor and department
Unterschultz, Jim (Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology)
Veeman, Michele (Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology)
Examining committee member and department
Manaloor, Varghese (Augustana)
Rude, James (Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology)
Gray, Richard (Bioresource Policy, Business and Economics) University of Saskatchewan
Jeffrey, Scott (Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology)
Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology
Agricultural and Resource Economics
Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
This thesis evaluates economic impact of adoption of crops developed by means of modern genomic tools. The economic impact of these improved crops is looked at from two different angles: the welfare implications from trading improved crops on the world market, and the benefits of adopting improved crops for domestic use in a small country. Hence, there are two essays in this thesis. The first essay incorporates two subtopics that are interrelated and the analyses are presented in one paper. This first essay assesses economic selected welfare effects, for consumers and producers from international trade in potential drought-tolerant (DT) wheat developed by genetic modification (GM) versus marker-assisted selection (MAS) and conventional breeding. A non-spatial partial equilibrium trade model of world wheat trade is developed to assess economic welfare. Based on the assumptions employed in the model, the analysis shows that adoption of GM DT wheat generally increases trade economic welfare. The positive welfare changes from GM DT wheat adoption are driven by higher non-GM wheat prices. Adoption of MAS DT wheat on the other hand reduces trade economic welfare as measured by the sum of consumer and producer welfare. The negative welfare change in this case is driven by additional supplies of better performing MAS DT wheat in drought years. The second essay estimates future economic returns from introduction of transgenic DT maize varieties on smallholder farms in Kenya under humanitarian license. Cost and benefit analysis with stochastic simulation of uncertain variables is employed to calculate Net Present Value of the future benefits of adopting transgenic DT maize at the farm and national level. The analysis shows that introduction of transgenic DT maize in Kenya produces positive private benefits for smallholder farmers and positive social benefit to society. Negative benefits to society occur only under very low adoption levels (i.e., equal or less than 10% of Kenya’s total maize planting area), and if the yield advantage of the transgenic DT maize is conservatively low. Private benefits to the smallholder farmers are positive in all scenarios considered in this study.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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