Plot-level impacts of improved lentil varieties in Bangladesh
The advent of improved lentil varieties (ILVs) in the mid-1990s solved the disease problem which almost halted lentil production in Bangladesh. Levels of adoption of ILVs have been documented in the literature, but little is known about their impacts. Applying an instrumental variables regression to data collected from a sample of 1,694 lentil plots and DNA fingerprinting for varietal identification, this study provides estimates of the plot-level impacts of adoption of ILVs in Bangladesh. Model results show that adoption of ILVs is associated with 14.3% (181.14 kg/ha) higher yields and 17.23% (US$169.44/ha) higher gross margins. Since 45% of lentil area is under ILVs, they generated over 8.77 tones (6%) more supply of lentils from domestic sources, saving the country US$8.22 million in imports in 2015 alone. By investing in the generation and scaling of ILVs, Bangladesh and other South Asian countries with similar agro-ecologies can increase production and decrease dependency on lentil imports.