Written Paper

The socio-economic impact of the russian wheat aphid integrated control program  [1999]

Carissa Marasas Anandajayasekeram, P. Tolmay, V. Purchase, J. et al.

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The Russian wheat aphid (Diuraphis noxia) (RW A), first noted in South Africa (SA) in 1978, is a serious wheat pest that could account for severe yield losses. Public research started in 1980 at the ARC-Small Grain Institute (ARC-SGI). The program comprised chemical control recommendations, resistance breeding and the ongoing research on biological control. In view of increasing pressures on resource mobilization and allocation, ARC-SGI decided to undertake this evaluation in order to use the information in future decision making. Data were collected from established and new commercial wheat farmers in the Central and Eastern Free State of SA. Standard pre-tested questionnaires were used. The impact of the R W A integrated control program was assessed comprehensively over the period 1993-2000. The returns to the research investment were estimated within a cost benefit framework, using the economic surplus approach. The rate of return was well over 34percent for all scenarios considered. Environmental, institutional and spill over effects were also qualitatively evaluated.