Comparative Advantage Framework – Case Study On CGIAR Genebank Platform


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The CGIAR Genebank Platform (GP) is in place and is now a system-wide initiative. The Platform does not directly address development objectives, but provides services to in- and out-of-system demand partners, most of whom transform genebank-supplied germplasm into varieties which help meet development objectives. Other types of partners, such as innovation partners who use the germplasm to develop varieties, are sufficiently separate from the GP. Because of this separation, the CA approach does not apply; the GP has a clear deliverable where it has absolute and comparative advantage. While some functions of the genebanks might be separated from the GP, this separation would not yield cost savings or efficiency gains because the functions are sufficiently interlinked and necessary for the GP to provide its deliverables. Functions such as curation, genetic health assurance, storage and sample preparation and delivery are all necessary for the functioning of genebanks. Thus, application of the comparative advantage approach to the GP does not lead to insights with respect to delivery of products to various demand and other partners.