Agriculture and Human Values

, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 3–15

Genetically-engineered crops and their effects on varietal diversity: a case of Bt eggplant in India

Article

Abstract

Building on the evidence from the impact of hybrid technology on varietal diversity loss, this paper explores ex ante the possible effects of introduction of Bt eggplant on on-farm varietal diversity of eggplant. The public–private partnership involved in the development and introduction of Bt eggplant provides a great opportunity to develop locally-adapted Bt open-pollinated varieties (OPVs) instead of having a limited number of generic hybrid varieties. The study shows that introduction of multiple Bt OPVs by public institutions will reduce the rate of replacement of OPVs by hybrids and thus help in conserving varietal diversity. However, the cost of developing multiple Bt OPVs is high; hence policy makers need to look at alternative measures to maintain the varietal diversity of crops such as eggplant in its centers of diversity.

Keywords

Bt transgenic crops Genetically engineered crops Public–private partnership Varietal diversity India 

Abbreviations

Bt

Bacillus thuringiensis

CV

Contingent valuation

ESFB

Eggplant shoot and fruit borer

GE

Genetically engineered

GURT

Genetic use restriction technology

MNL

Multinomial logit

OPV

Open-pollinated variety

R&D

Research and development

USAID

United States Agency for International Development

WTP

Willingness to pay

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Collaborator, International Food Policy Research Institute and Visiting FellowCornell UniversityIthacaUSA
  2. 2.Dyson School of Applied Economics and ManagementCornell UniversityIthacaUSA

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