The ex-ante economic, nutritional, and environmental impacts of cowpea and soybean research and extension in sub-Saharan Africa
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Materials and Methods An economic surplus model for an open economy was used to derive summary measures of the potential impacts of cowpea and soybean improvement under certain reasonable assumptions for research starting in 2017 and benefits accruing from 2020 (beginning of adoption of improved technologies) to 2026. The benefits were measured based on a parallel downward shift in the (linear) supply curve following research. The annual flows of gross economic benefits from crop improvement were estimated for each of the countries and aggregated, with the aggregate benefits finally discounted to derive the present value (in 2017) of total net benefits from the intervention. The key parameters that determine the magnitude of the economic benefits are: (1) the expected technology adoption in terms of area under improved technologies; (2) expected yield gains (or avoided losses) following adoption; and (3) pre-research levels of production and prices. Results and interpretation The present value of gross benefits of cowpea research and extension is estimated at US$640 million and US$81 million for cowpea and soybean respectively (Table 1). Cowpea research is also projected to contribute to: (1) food security through increased availability of food (1,830,829 tons); (2) nutrition security through increased availability of protein (439,399 tons); and (3) environmental benefits through biological nitrogen fixation (91,541 tons) that also translates to a fertilizer cost saving of US$51 million. Cowpea research will have the greatest economic impacts in Nigeria, which accounts for over 80% of the projected economic benefits in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Besides, soybean research is also estimated to contribute to: (1) food security through increased availability of food (309,798 tons); (2) nutrition security through increased availability of protein (123,919 tons); and (3) environmental benefits through biological nitrogen fixation (23,545 tons) that also translates to a fertilizer cost saving of US$13 million. Unlike cowpea research, soybean research will have the greatest economic impacts in South Africa, which accounts for over 28% of the projected economic benefits followed closely by Nigeria which also accounts for about 27% of the projected economic benefits in SSA.