While development economists see the potential for food security and poverty reduction in Africa from culture of these new strains of tilapia, conservationists are wary of potential ecological and genetic impacts on receiving ecosystems and native stocks of tilapia.
This study reviews the history of the GIFT technology, and identifies potential environmental and genetic risks of improved and farmed strains and tilapia in general.
Yaw B. Ansah, Emmanuel A. Frimpong and Eric M. Hallerman, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, also estimate the potential economic gains from the introduction of genetically improved strains in Africa, using Ghana as a case country.
Employing a combination of the Economic-Surplus model and Monte Carlo simulation, we found the mean net present value (NPV) of the introduction of the GIFT strain in Ghana to be approximately one per cent of the country’s gross domestic product.
Sensitivity analysis indicated that the difference in growth or yield between the GIFT and locally-available strains has the largest effect on mean NPV.
We conclude that improvements in management practices and infrastructure could increase the yield and profitability of the local strains even if genetically-improved strains are not introduced. These improvements also will ensure the realization of the full potential of introduced strains.
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