The potential economic impact of Guinea-race sorghum hybrids in Mali: A comparison of research and development paradigms

March 1, 2017 - Author: Alpha Kergna, , Amidou Assima, Abdoulaye Diallo, Eva Weltzien, and Fred Rattunde

The Potential Economic Impact of Guinea-Race Sorghum Hybrids in Mali: A Comparison of Research and Development Paradigms. Alpha Kergna, Melinda Smale, Amidou Assima, Abdoulaye Diallo, Eva Weltzien, and Fred Rattunde. African Journal of Agricultural Economics. Volume 12 Number 1 pages 17-34. March 2017.

Rural Malians depend on sorghum as a staple food. Despite long-term investment in sorghum
improvement, achieving major gains in sorghum yields has posed challenges. We assessed the
potential economic impact of the first Guinea-race sorghum hybrids developed and diffused using
participatory plant breeding with decentralised, farmer-based seed systems. We compared this
approach to formal plant breeding with a centralised, state-managed seed system – the sole approach
pursued in Mali prior to 2000. To incorporate risk, we augmented the economic surplus model by
applying Monte Carlo sampling to simulate distributions of model parameters. A census of sorghum
varieties in 58 villages of the Sudanese Savanna served as the adoption baseline. Our findings
indicate that research on sorghum hybrids with the new approach is a sound investment. Public and
private actors need to continue investing in innovative ways to expand the sorghum seed system. The
sensitivity of results to the price elasticity of supply suggests commercialisation opportunities.

Keywords: sorghum, hybrids, Mali, economic impact; R&D 

Tags: economic impact, food security group, fsg peer reviewed publications, input use and market development, mali, r&d, sorgho, sorghum hybrids


Melinda Smale

Melinda Smale

You Might Also Be Interested In

Accessibility Questions:

For questions about accessibility and/or if you need additional accommodations for a specific document, please send an email to ANR Communications & Marketing at