Economics of genomic tools for crop improvement

  • Author / Creator
    Komirenko, Zoia
  • 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.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2014
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.