The potential economic impact of Guinea-race sorghum hybrids inMali: A comparison of research and development paradigms uri icon


  • Rural Malians depend on sorghum as a staple food. Despite long-term investment in sorghumimprovement, achieving major gains in sorghum yields has posed challenges. We assessed thepotential economic impact of the first Guinea-race sorghum hybrids developed and diffused usingparticipatory plant breeding with decentralised, farmer-based seed systems. We compared thisapproach to formal plant breeding with a centralised, state-managed seed system ? the sole approachpursued in Mali prior to 2000. To incorporate risk, we augmented the economic surplus model byapplying Monte Carlo sampling to simulate distributions of model parameters. A census of sorghumvarieties in 58 villages of the Sudanese Savanna served as the adoption baseline. Our findingsindicate that research on sorghum hybrids with the new approach is a sound investment. Public andprivate actors need to continue investing in innovative ways to expand the sorghum seed system. Thesensitivity of results to the price elasticity of supply suggests commercialisation opportunities

publication date

  • 2017