Pakistan Institute of Development Economics



Technical Change and Returns to Wheat Breeding Research in Pakistan’s Punjab in the Post-Green Revolution Period

Rates of yield gain and returns to investtnent in wheat breeding research are estimated for Pakistan’s Punjab for the period since the introduction of semidwarf varieties. Analysis of two comprehensive data sets indicates that wheat breeders have maintained a rate of yield gain in newer releases of semidwarf varieties of about 1 percent per year. Improved disease resistance of newer varieties may have also prevented a yield decline of the order of 0.25 percent per year. Yield gains on farms may be less (0.6 percent per year) because of slow diffusion of new varieties. Given costs of wheat research, returps to investment in wheat breeding have been above 20 percent and are over 15 percent even if all research costs at the national and international level are included. However, more rapid diffusion of new varieties in the Punjab could considerably increase returns to wheat research.

Derek Byerlee

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