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Estimating the benefits of public plant breeding: beyond profits

Aaron Shew (), Alvaro Durand‐Morat, Lawton Lanier Nalley and Karen Ann‐Kuenzel Moldenhauer

Agricultural Economics, 2018, vol. 49, issue 6, 753-764

Abstract: In this study, we estimate increases in producer revenue, total exports, and welfare effects from the genetic gains of the rice breeding program at the University of Arkansas System (UofA) Division of Agriculture from 1983 to 2016. Rice producers are paid based on both the quantity and quality of rice. Therefore, we implement a cluster‐specific fixed‐effects model based on location and year to identify the contributions of the UofA breeding program for both paddy yields (quantity) and head rice yields (quality attribute) over time. Additionally, the estimated increased yield was imputed into the RiceFlow trade model to estimate price and export effects. Including spillover benefits from UofA varieties, we find that on average U.S. rice producers gain 30.9 million USD annually. The expansion of U.S. long grain rice exports facilitated by the UofA is estimated to be 53,000 milled metric tons annually, which is enough to lower rice prices by over 1% in low‐income countries such as Haiti, Panama, and Nicaragua. Overall, the public breeding program at the UofA contributes to (1) positive genetic gains, (2) additional revenue in the Mid‐South, and (3) increased trade between the U.S. and rice‐consuming countries.

Date: 2018
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