Nancy Johnson


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Institution: International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)



Nancy Johnson got her PhD in agricultural and applied economics at the University of Minnesota in 1997. Her area of focus was agricultural and economic development, with an emphasis on institutional economics and Latin America. She then went to CIAT on a fellowship from the Rockefeller Foundation to work on evaluating the role of social organizations in development and in natural resource management. She is also working on a CGIAR-wide study on the economic impact of improved crop varieties. The paper presented in this workshop draws on both these areas of research.

Title: The impact of crop improvement research on rural poverty: A spatial analysis of BGMV-resistant bean varieties in Honduras

Theme: 2C


This paper will analyze the distribution of the economic benefits of improved bean varieties. Over 500 improved bean varieties have been released in Latin America over the past few decades, and they have contributed to both increases in production and decreases in price. How these benefits have been distributed is largely unknown. Have they been captured by producers or consumers, by large farmers or small? Unlike some other improved technologies, which have favored more productive farmers, bean varieties have been directed at small, resource-poor farmers, and there is evidence that these farmers have adopted them. Using new time series data on adoption of new varieties, the study will analyze the adoption according to farm size and farm income. The study will also quantify the relationships between new varieties, yields, and prices, and use this information to calculate the differential distribution of the economic benefits of the new varieties across different types of producers. The geographical region in which the study will be conducted will depend on the available data. Data will be completed over the next few months. It is most likely that the analysis will be for either Brazil or the Andean countries.

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