Advertisement

The Economic Value of Genetic Diversity for Crop Improvement: Theory and Application

Chapter
Part of the Natural Resource Management and Policy book series (NRMP, volume 27)

Abstract

It is often argued that maintaining genetic diversity is a valuable insurance policy against crop failure. In this paper the economic value of diversity is related to the scarcity of genetic resources. Different modes of analysis are proposed for qualitative and quantitative genetic attributes, although both approaches can be related to the theory of order statistics. Economic value is “value on the margin.” While the total worth to society of agricultural genetic resources is immeasurable, the marginal value is typically much smaller. Additional biological diversity for use in agricultural improvement may be thought of as more “draws” to be taken from a random sample of potential outcomes in which only the best is chosen for cultivation. Value on the margin is then the expected improvement in the welfare realized from the best in the sample. When the numbers of potential progenitors available for agricultural improvement is large, the marginal value of additional biodiversity can become quite small. These principles are illustrated with an example from a teak forestry improvement program.

Key words

agriculture biodiversity economic valuation genetic resources qualitative characteristics quantitative characteristics social welfare teak 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Anderson, L., 1997, Reassessment of an International Teak (Tectona Grandis Linn, f) Provenance Trial at Age 23, Danida Forest Seed Centre, Humlebaek, Denmark.Google Scholar
  2. Ball, J. B., Pandey, D., and Hirai, S., 1999, Global overview of teak plantations, paper presented to the Regional Seminar on Site, Technology and Productivity of Teak Plantations, Chiang Mai, Thailand (January 26–29, 1999).Google Scholar
  3. Craft, A. B., and Simpson, R. D., 2001, The value of biodiversity in pharmaceutical research with differentiated products, Environ, and Resource Econ. 18:1–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. David, H. A., 1981, Order Statistics, Wiley, 2nd edition, New York.Google Scholar
  5. Falconer, D. S., and Mackay, T. F. S., 1996, Introduction to Quantitative Genetics, Addison-Wesley, 4th edition, Boston.Google Scholar
  6. Kaosaard, A., Suangtho, V., and Kjasr, E. D., 1998, Genetic improvement of teak (tectona grandis) in Thailand, Forest Genetic Resour. 26:21–29.Google Scholar
  7. Keiding, H., Wellendorf, H., and Lauridsen, E. B., 1986, Evaluation of an International Series of Teak Provenance Trials, DANIDA Forest Seed Center, Humlebaek, Denmark.Google Scholar
  8. Kjaer, E., Lauridsen, E. B., and Wellendorf, H., 1995, Second Evaluation of an International Series of Teak Provenance Trials, DANIDA Forest Seed Center, Humlebaek, Denmark.Google Scholar
  9. Rausser, G., and Small, A., 2000, Valuing research leads: bioprospecting and the conservation of genetic resources,J. Polit. Econ. 108:173–206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Simpson, R. D., Sedjo, R. A., and Reid, J. W., 1996, Valuing biodiversity for use in pharmaceutical research,J. Polit. Econ. 104:163–185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Weitzman, M. L., 2000, Economic profitability vs. ecological entropy, Quart. J. Econ. 115:237–263.zbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Resources for the FutureWashington, DCUSA

Personalised recommendations