Impact of Germplasm Research Spillovers: The Case of Sorghum Variety S 35 in Cameroon and Chad uri icon


  • An important objective of international agricultural research inst i tut ions is to determine theextent to which research under taken in one location may impact on other regions of interest.Thi s is because research activities are most often planned to target mandate crops andagroecological areas found in many parts of the world. ICRI S A T has, as a pol icy, disributeda wide range of parental materials to breeding programs in the NARS and private seedindustries throughout the semi-arid tropics. This has cont r ibuted to faster and cost-effectivedevelopment of useful final products by the receiving parties.Thi s study evaluates the impacts and research spillover effects of adopt ion of sorghum varietyS 35, a pure line developed f rom the ICRI S A T breeding program in India. It was lateradvanced in Niger ia and promoted and released in Cameroon in 1986 and Chad in 1989.Today, S 35 occupies about 33% of the total rainfed sorghum area in Cameroon and 2 7 % inChad. Compared to farmers' best t radi t ional varieties across all study sites in Cameroon andChad, S 35 yields 2 7 % more output (grain) and reduces uni t product ion cost by 20%.Thesefarm-level impacts are larger in Chad where yield gain is 5 1 % higher and cost reduct ion is3 3% higher. Th e net present value of benefits f rom S 35 research spillover in the Af r icanregion was estimated to be US$ 15 mi l l ion in Chad and US$ 4.6 mi l l ion in Cameroon,representing internal rates of return of 9 5% in Chad and 7 5% in Cameroon. These impactswere evaluated f rom the perspective of nat ional research systems. A conscious decision,therefore, was made to include only those costs associated wi t h nat ional research andextension inst i tut ions. Al l other S 35-related research and development expendituresincur red in India and Niger ia were treated as 'sunk costs', that is, costs which woul d haveoccur red anyway wi thout spillover. Ha d each count ry had to develop S 35 and associatedmanagement practices on its own, the t ime lag between research and release of thetechnology woul d have been longer and consequently impacts, if any, woul d have beensmaller. For greater effectiveness in sorghum technology development and transfer in theregion, future research and pol icy actions should take greater advantage of research spilloversthrough more col laborat ion, communicat ion, and networking between nat ional , regional ,and internat ional research inst i tut ions

publication date

  • 1999