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Abstract

An ex post rate of return analysis was conducted to estimate the internal rate of return (IRR) to Bangladesh developed and released high yielding wheat varieties that have replaced the previously introduced wheat varieties. Since the inception of the CIMMYT assisted Bangladesh wheat research program in the 1970's and the release of the first Bangladesh variety in 1979, the IRR to the total investment in both wheat research and extension was calculated at 32%. The increase in production due to the higher yielding varieties also generated foreign exchange savings of Tk. 7.9 Billion because of the need to import less wheat. Under various assumptions about the magnitude of the benefits and the research and extension expenditures, the IRR ranged between 27% and 41% and the foreign exchange savings ranged between Tk. 5.9 Billion and Tk. 9.8 Billion. The rate of return is comparable to returns to wheat research and other agricultural research and extension investments in most developing countries. This indicates that Bangladesh and donor agency funding of wheat research and extension is a good investment.

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