Wheat breeding, productivity and slow variety change: evidence from the Punjab of India after the Green Revolution*

We evaluate the effect of each index on technical efficiency with a Cobb-Douglas yield model after testing for exogeneity

Melinda Smale

2008

Scholarcy highlights

  • The centre of origin of wheat is ‘diffuse’
  • The number of different parental combinations and the number of distinct landrace ancestors in the pedigrees of modern wheat varieties grown in Indian Punjab from 1970 are shown in Table 1, ordered by date of release and variety name
  • The Punjab of India is an historical source of key wheat genetic resources in national and global plant breeding
  • We have used a yield model to test the effects of genetic diversity conferred through plant breeding and the area-weighted average age of varieties, which is negatively related to variety change, in the Indian Punjab during the postGreen Revolution period
  • Econometric findings demonstrate that continued infusion of diverse genetic materials through planting breeding has enhanced productivity in the wheat fields of Punjab in the post-Green Revolution period
  • When grown with increased rates of fertiliser application and a controlled water supply, semi-dwarf varieties performed significantly better than the varieties they replaced
  • Policies that speed up variety change on farms, and encourage more diverse spatial distributions, would reinforce the advances made due to genetic diversity conferred through plant breeding
  • While long recognised by practitioners, this paper tests this point more formally

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