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The Economics of On-Farm Conservation of Crop Diversity in Ethiopia

Incentives, Attribute Preferences and Opportunity Costs of Maintaining Local Varieties of Crops


Edilegnaw Wale Zegeye

The issue of maintaining a diverse gene pool in the form of crop varieties is very topical world wide. This is caused by the potential benefit of crop genetic resources for addressing future demand emanating from unforeseen agricultural problems. This volume is mainly concerned with on-farm conservation as a supplement to the other in situ and ex situ conservation options. The study aims at generating relevant information for maintaining local varieties on farmers’ fields in Ethiopia. In order to effectively devise policies for on-farm conservation, the volume argues that an improved understanding of farmers’ incentives, attribute preferences and opportunity costs is indispensable. These issues are extensively addressed (both theoretically and empirically) with a focus on policy that is expressed by the guiding question Given the socioeconomic set-up, what policy options are available to undertake on-farm conservation of crop diversity in Ethiopia? The study results are intended to help identify optimal policies for on-farm conservation taking sorghum, coffee, and wheat as empirical examples.
Contents: Overview of Variety Use and Crop Diversity Conservation in Ethiopia – Data Collection Methodology and Insights on Farmers’ Variety Choice – Conservation of Crop Diversity and Economic Development: Issues, Paradigms and Economic Theories – Economic Analysis of Farmers’ Incentives to Diversify on Local Sorghum Varieties – Farmers’ Coffee Variety Attribute Preferences, Demand for Local Varieties and Incentives for Poly-Variety – The Opportunity Cost of Maintaining Sorghum and Wheat of Local Varieties of Farmers’ Fields – Thinking beyond the Boundary of Farmers: National Level On-Farm Conservation Costs and the Institutional Incentive Design in Ethiopia.