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Management strategies Decision support tool

Decision support tool

Contact persons for Decision support tool: Daniela Horna,  Jose Falck-Zepeda (IFPRI)

Contributors to this page: IFPRI, Washington (Daniela Horna, Melinda Smale); Bioversity International, Rome (Brigitte La Liberte); CIAT, Cali, Colombia (Arsenio Ciprian, Maritza Cuervo, Daniel Debouck, Roosevelt Escobar, Angela Marcela Hernandez, Graciela Mafla, Josefina Realpe Martinez, Luis Guillermo Santos, Orlando Toro); CIMMYT, Mexico (Victor Chavez, Bibiana Espinoza, Jonalyn Gumafelix, Thomas Payne, Marcial Rivas, Suketoshi Taba); ICRISAT, Patancheru, India (K.N. Reddy, V.G. Reddy, Dintyala Sastry,  S. Singh, RP. Thakur, Hari D Upadhyaya); IITA, Nigeria (Ogundapo Ademola, Dominique Dumet, Victor Manyong); ILRI, Addis Ababa (Jean Hanson); Independent consultants (Victor Komerell, Bonwoo Koo); IRRI, Los Baños, Philippines (Socorro Almazan, Genevieve Mae Aquino, Patria Gonzales, Flora Guzman, Ruaraidh Sackville-Hamilton, Arvind Kumar, Charina Ocampo, Renato Reaño, Teresita Santos, Anthony Telosa, Miriam Telosa); AfricaRice, Cotonou, Benin (Ines Sanchez, Koichi Futakuchi). 

Cost-effectiveness of collection management: Ex situ Conservation of Plant Genetic Resources in the CGIAR system

Through the participation in the GPG2 project the genebank from the CG system, SGRP and IFPRI have developed methods for assessing the costs and benefits of genebank operations. Since not all benefits associated with genebank operations can be estimated with certainty in quantitative terms, achieving cost-effectiveness (minimizing costs for a specific objective) is perhaps a more realistic goal than achieving efficiency (setting all marginal costs equal to all marginal returns). In consultation with genebank managers, a System-wide analysis has been undertaken to characterize the constraints, strategic choices and daily management decisions of genebank managers. A prototype methodology, including a computerized decision support tool has been developed and critiqued by System-wide genebank managers. Using the prototype tool, scenarios have been developed and hypotheses tested about the cost-effectiveness of integrating tasks and operations across the system.

Click on the image to download:

The decision support tool prototype (2 MB)

Download the prototype of the decision support tool by clicking on the image above. To be able to open this tool you will need Microsoft Office
Excel software installed on your computer and you need to enable the macros.


The decision support tool survey

Participate in improving this decision support tool by sending your comments to Daniela Horna or by filling out the survey.


The user guide

Click on the image above to proceed
to the page that explains how to use
the decision support tool.

The final report (6.5 MB)

Click on the image to access the GPG2 Final Report on evaluating the cost-effectiveness of collection management of plant genetic resources.


References and further reading

Altoveros NC, Ramanatha Rao V. 1998. Analysis of information on seed germplasm regeneration practices. In: Engels JMM, Ramanatha Rao V, editors. Regeneration of Seed Crops and their Wild Relatives: Proceedings of a Consultation meeting, 4-7 December 1995, ICRISAT, Hyderabad, India. IPGRI, Rome, Italy. Available here.

Burstin J, Lefort M, Mitteau M, Sontot A, Guiard J. 1997. Towards the assessment of the costs of genebank management: conservation, regeneration and characterization. Plant Varieties and Seeds 10:163-172.

Calles T, Dulloo ME, Engels JMM, van den Houwe I. 2007. Best practices for germplasm management: A new approach for achieving genebank standards. Bioversity International. Available here.

Chakrabarty SK, Anitha K, Girish AG, Sarath Babu B, Rao PRDVJ, Varaprasad KS, Khetarpal RK, Thakur RP. 2005. Germplasm exchange and quaantine of ICRISAT mandate crops. Information Bulleting No. 69. Plant Quarentine Laboratory, ICRISAT, Patancheru, India.

Day-Rubenstein K, Heisey P, Shoemaker R, Sullivan J, Frisvold G. 2005. Crop genetic resources: An economic appraisal. A report from the economic research service. Economic Information Bulletin Number 2. United Stated Department of Agriculture.

De Boer L. 1992. Economies of scale and input substitution in public libraries. Journal of Urban Economics 32 (2):257-268.

ECPGR. 2008. A strategic framework for the implementation of a European genebank integrated system (AEGIS). Discussion Paper. European Cooperative Programme for Plant Genetic Resources (ECPGR). Bioversity International, Rome, Italy.

Engels JMM, Ramanatha Rao V. 1998. Regeneration of Seed Crops and their Wild Relatives: Proceedings of a Consultation meeting, 4-7 December 1995, ICRISAT, Hyderabad, India. IPGRI, Rome, Italy. Available here.

Epperson J, Pachico DH, Guevara C. 1997. A costs analysis of maintaining cassava plant genetic resources. Crop Science 37:1641-1649.

FAO. 2002. International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture: A global treaty for food security and sustainable agriculture. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, Italy.

Finch L, Christianson JB. 1981. Rural hospitals costs: an analysis with policy implications. Public Health Reports 96:423-433.

Fowler C, Hodgkin T. 2004. Plant genetic resources for food and agriculture: Assessing global availability. Annual Review of Environment and Resources. Vol. 29:143-179.

Hardaker JB, Huirne RBM, Anderson JR. 1997. Coping with risk in agriculture. Wallingford: CAB International.

Johnson N, Pachico D, Voysest O. 2003. The distribution of benefits from public international banks: the case of beans in Latin America. Agricultural Economics 29:277-286. 

Koo B, Pardey PG, Wright BD. 2003. The economic costs of conserving genetic resources at the CGIAR centres. Agricultural Economics 29:287-297.

Koo Bonwoo, Pardey PG, Wright BD, Bramel P, Debouck D, van Dusen ME, Jackson MT, Rao NK, Skovmand B, Taba S, Valkoun J. 2004. Saving seeds: The economics of conserving crop genetic resources ex-situ in the future harvest centres of the CGIAR. Oxfordshire, UK: CABI Publishing.

Koo B, Wright BD. 2008. The optimal timing of evaluation genebank accessions and the effects of biotechnology. American Journal of Agricultural Economics 82 (4):797-811.

Li D, Prtichard H. 2009. The science and economics of ex situ plant conservation. Special issue: Plant science research in botanic gardens.

Liu LG. 2002. The cost functions and scale economies in academic research libraries. Library Trends 2002:406-420.

Mafla G, Roa JC, Aranzales E, Debouck DG. Handbook of procedures for in-vitro germplasm conservation of the genus Manihot. Genetic Resources - CIAT: Cali, Colombia.

Pardey PG, Koo B, van Dusen ME, Skovmand B, Taba S. 2001. Costing the Conservation of Genetic Resources: CIMMYT's Ex Situ Maize and Wheat Collection. Crop Science 41:1286-1299.

Rao NK, Hanson J, Dulloo ME, Ghosh K, Nowel D, Larinde M. 2006. Manual of seed handling in genebanks. Handbooks for Genebanks No. 8. Bioversity International, Rome, Italy. Available in English (1.5 MB),  Spanish (1.4 MB) and French (1.9 MB).

Salcedo J, Debouck DG, Torres AM, Guevara C. 2006. Flow Chart of Operations for Bean and Tropical Forage Germplasm. Genetic Resources - CIAT: Cali, Colombia.

Smale M, Drucker AG. 2007. Agricultural Development and the Diversity of Crop and Livestock Genetic Resources: A Review of the Economics Literature. In: Kontoleon A, Pascual U, Swanson T, editors. Biodiversity Economics. Cambridge University Press.

Smale M, Koo B. 2003. Genetic Resources Policies: What is a Gene Bank Worth? IFPRI: Washington, D.C.: IFPRI, IPGRI, and the Systemwide Genetic Resources Program.

Taba S, van Ginkel D, Hoisington D, Poland D. 2004. Wellhausen-Anderson Plant Genetic Resources Center: Operations Manual. El Batan, Mexico: CMMYT.

Upadhayaya H, Gowda CLL, Sastry DVSSR. 2008. Plant genetic resources management: collection, characterization, conservation and utilization. SAT eJournal ( An Open Source Journal published by ICRISAT: December 2006, Volume 6.

Virchow D. 2003. Current expenditures on crop genetic resources activities. In: Virchow D, editor. Efficient conservation of crop genetic diversity. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.

Virchow D. 1999. Spending on conservation of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture: How much and How efficient? ZEF Discussion Papers on Development Policy. Bonn: Center for Development Research.

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