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Abstract

This report presents information on the level of investment in wheat breeding research in developing countries and the impact of that research, and discusses issues related to assessing returns to wheat improvement research and improving research efficiency. In 1990, the total estimated investment in wheat improvement research in developing countries was US$ 96 million. Expressed in another way, developing countries spent about US$ 0.40 per ton of wheat on improvement research, or about 0.3% of the value of production. This research has had a considerable impact in the developing world. Modern varieties of wheat cover 70% of the developing country wheat area, and many farmers have replaced older improved varieties with newer ones. Research on improved spring bread wheat varieties alone has contributed an additional US$ 3 billion in benefits in developing countries in the past decade. however, results of this study suggest that national agricultural research programs have considerable scope to utilize research resources more efficiently, by rationalizing the number and size of wheat research programs and by examining opportunities to import technology or collaborate with countries sharing similar production environments.

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