Private research and public benefit: The private seed industry for sorghum and pearl millet in India

Pray, C E and Ribeiro, S and Mueller, R A E and Rao, P P (1991) Private research and public benefit: The private seed industry for sorghum and pearl millet in India. Research Policy, 20 (4). pp. 315-324. ISSN 0048-7333

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In contrast to conventional wisdom, private firms are spending substantial amounts of money on research to develop new cultivars for small-farmer, subsistence agriculture. Indian firms spend almost as much as the government on breeding pearl millet and sorghum. The hybrids developed by firms are becoming popular with farmers: about 900,000 ha were planted with private pearl millet and sorghum hybrids in 1987. The higher yields of private hybrids increased grain output by at least 200,000 t. Although prices for seed of private hybrids are higher than seed of cultivars developed by government research, most of the benefits from private breeding research accrue to farmers and consumers. ☆The research for this paper was primarily financed by USAID/New Delhi. We also received support from ICRISAT. We would like to thank the scientists of the AICSIP, A1CPMIP, IARI, officials of the Ministry of Agriculture, NSC, SSCs, and executives of private seed companies, for their cooperation. We also appreciate the comments of John Witcombe, Tom Walker, and Wayne Freeman on earlier drafts of this paper. The opinions expressed in the paper are those of the authors and do not represent the opinions of USAID or ICRISAT.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Mandate crops > Millets
Mandate crops > Sorghum
Depositing User: Library ICRISAT
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2011 13:43
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2011 13:43
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Acknowledgement: UNSPECIFIED
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