GM Maize in Ethiopia: An Ex Ante Economic Assessment of Tela, a Drought Tolerant and Insect Resistant Maize

IFPRI Discussion Paper 1926

54 Pages Posted: 5 Jun 2020

See all articles by Chilot Yirga

Chilot Yirga

Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research

Alejandro Nin Pratt

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Patricia Zambrano

IFPRI

Ulrike Wood-Sichra

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Endeshaw Habte

affiliation not provided to SSRN

John Komen

Biosafety Systems

Jose Falck-Zepeda

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Judy Chambers

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Date Written: May 7, 2020

Abstract

Ethiopian economy has grown at an average rate that surpasses that of almost any other economy in the region over the last two decades. At the center of this development is the high priority placed on accelerating agricultural growth and achieving food security and poverty alleviation. Over the years, maize has become a main food security crop, widely produced and consumed by smallholder farmers, second only to teff in terms of area. Despite the sustained growth of maize production over the years, its yields continue to be lower than the world’s average. Of the many abiotic and biotic constraints that maize faces, insect attacks and droughts are two critical ones. The genetically modified TELA maize can help address these constraints. This paper estimates the economic benefits of adopting this new technology and the opportunity cost that Ethiopia will incur if its adoption is delayed. The analysis is conducted using an economic surplus partial equilibrium model run with the newly developed DREAMpy software, data drawn from the Ethiopia Socioeconomic Survey, Wave 3 2015-2016, econometric estimations using these survey data, and other local data and sources. The estimations show that if the drought tolerant and insect resistant TELA maize is planted in 2023 the net present-value of benefits for producers and consumers would be around $850 million. Producers from the mid-altitude maize zone will be the main beneficiaries, given the targeted area of TELA maize. Consumers from all areas will benefit from the projected reduction in price. If the adoption of this new technology is delayed by 5 years, the estimated net present value of benefits will fall by 30 percent. These costs underscore the importance of having a regulatory system that is efficient, predictable, and transparent and ensures that the projected economic benefits are realized.

Keywords: pest resistance, drought tolerance, maize, assessment, ex ante impact assessment, genetically modified organisms, crops

Suggested Citation

Yirga, Chilot and Nin Pratt, Alejandro and Zambrano, Patricia and Wood-Sichra, Ulrike and Habte, Endeshaw and Komen, John and Falck-Zepeda, Jose and Chambers, Judy, GM Maize in Ethiopia: An Ex Ante Economic Assessment of Tela, a Drought Tolerant and Insect Resistant Maize (May 7, 2020). IFPRI Discussion Paper 1926, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3595618

Chilot Yirga (Contact Author)

Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research ( email )

P.O. Box 2003
Addis Ababa
Ethiopia

Alejandro Nin Pratt

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States

Patricia Zambrano

IFPRI ( email )

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States

Ulrike Wood-Sichra

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States

Endeshaw Habte

affiliation not provided to SSRN

John Komen

Biosafety Systems ( email )

Jose Falck-Zepeda

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States

Judy Chambers

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States

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