Genetic improvement delivers benefits in the form of trait changes, informed markets for seedstock, and expertise and capacity among breeders. The primary beneficiaries of the trait changes have generally been believed to consumers. This is not automatically the case. This belief has been used to support arguments for community support for genetic improvement. Re-framing the question “who benefits” as “what changes are valuable, and how best to fund the improvement” is suggested as a more useful approach. From this perspective, more traits and a longer time horizon are preferred. The challenge of supporting the phenotypic recording required in the face of market failure remains, and a mechanism is proposed for addressing this, applicable where there are collective funds available for industry development.

Robert Banks

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume Genetic Improvement Programs: Breeding objectives, economics of selection schemes, and advances in selection theory, , 009, 2014
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