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Abstract

When farmers consume much of their grain output, end-use quality, in addition to standard production characteristics, affects farmers' seed choice and the economic returns to investment in crop breeding. Evidence from Malawi suggests that despite a lengthy research lag, emphasizing grain quality in recent years will amplify returns to research. Yet the story of that research breakthrough also suggests that when market signals are weak, physical and the social scientists who seek to play an informative role must be especially cautious in their assessment of research priorities.

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