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Crop genetic diversity, farm productivity and the management of environmental risk in rainfed agriculture

By Salvatore Di Falco and Jean-Paul Chavas


This paper presents an assessment of the linkages between crop genetic diversity, farm productivity and risk management. A flexible moment-based approach is used to analyse the impact of crop genetic diversity on the mean, variance and skewness of yield. Using farm-level data from Sicily (Italy), econometric evidence shows how crop genetic diversity can increase farm productivity and reduce risk exposure. The empirical results indicate that crop genetic diversity can reduce variance, but only if pesticide use is low. Furthermore, high diversity levels can reduce downside risk exposure (e.g. the risk of crop failure). This provides useful insights on the linkages between resilience and crop genetic diversity

Topics: GE Environmental Sciences, S Agriculture (General)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Year: 2006
DOI identifier: 10.1093/eurrag
OAI identifier:
Provided by: LSE Research Online
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