A preliminary study conducted last year by the ICRISATof its sorghum improvement program in Latin America showed a large payoff from a modest research investment over a 16-year period.
For example, the study noted that between 1976 and the close of the program in December 1993, more than a fifth of the sorghum area in four Central American countries is planted to improved cultivars released through the ICRISAT program. That included amost half the sorghum area in Guatemala; a third in Honduras, and a fifth in Nicaragua and El Salvador.
In 1993 alone, farmers from these four countries harvested an extra $18.3 million worth of sorghum using the improved varieties. The average annual budget for ICRISAT's Latin American sorghum improvement program, by contrast, amounted to $350,000.