Evaluating the returns to research on a project level : cover crops in the South African wine industry

Morgan, John (John Idwal) (1999)

Thesis (MScAgric)--Stellenbosch University, 1999.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The purpose of the study is to determine the rate of return to cover crop research in the wine industry. The method followed will prove an invaluable contribution toward the need to determine a suitable approach for evaluation studies. The importance behind such a study is the development of appropriate ex ante evaluation approaches, which will assist in the allocation of public research resources in both a social and economical manner. The wine industry is currently enjoying healthy international demand, but will need to remain competitive to reap the full benefit of international exposure. The need therefore exists for a continuation of research at the institutional level, in order to maintain the progressive nature of research knowledge that was available in the past. The evaluation of ex post and ex ante research will assist in maintaining government funding for research and help with campaigning for private investment of research in the wine industry. The use of two evaluation approaches was used for the analysis. Firstly, the production function approach achieved a rate of return of 44 percent, using weather and research expenditure as a means to explain the variations in wine grape yield. Secondly, a cost benefit approach was devised in order to make a direct comparison between the cost and benefits related to the cover crop research. The rate of return achieved for this mode of analysis is 37 percent, using trial plot data as a source of information on potential benefits. In addition to this the cost benefit approach was used to show the difference in rate of return that is achievable between two growing regions. The variable that exists between the two regions, is the higher rate of irrigation in one of the regions. The high rate of return achieved for the investment, provides suitable motivation for the increase in state funding for research in the wine industry, and provides valuable information for the enticement of support by private investors. The two methods used in the study will both draw a certain amount of criticism, largely as a result of the lack of available data. The empirical nature of the approaches is however simple and applicable down to the project level.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die doel van hierdie studie is om die opbrengs op navorsing oor dekgewasse in die Suid- Afrikaanse wynbedryf te bepaal. Hierbenewens het die studie dit ook ten doel om gepaste metodieke vir die evaluering van navorsingsprojekte daar te stel. In hierdie opsig maak hierdie studie ' n bydrae tot besluitneming oor die allokering van openbare fondse vir landbounavorsing op 'n ekonomies en sosiale optimale wyse. Die Suid- Afrikaanse wynbedryf beleef tans ' n bloeifase, hoofsaaklik as gevolg van sterk internasionale vraag na sy produkte, maar salop sy internasionale mededingendheid moet let indien die volle voordele hiervan benut kan word. Daarom is dit noodsaaklik dat die bedryf op tegnologiese gebied moet kan meeding, en dus dat navorsingsbesteding nie onoordeelkundig ingekort word rue. Inligting oor die opbrengs op navorsingsbesteding is dus noodsaaklik om die volgehoue betrokkenheid van die staat te kan regverdig, hetsy as finansier of as katalisator vir privaatsektor betrokkenheid. In hierdie studie is die opbrengs op navorsing gemeet deur beide die bekende produksiefunksie benadering sowel as deur koste-voordeel ontleding. In die eerste geval is 'n opbrengskoers van 44% gemeet, en in die tweede geval is dit 37%. By die kostevoordeel ontleding is ook 'n verdere onderskeid gemaak tussen twee wynbou-streke om die invloed van meer besproeiing te bepaal. Ten spyte van dataprobleme, veral wat betref die koste van navorsing, kan beweer word dat die inligting so verkry van nut sal wees vir besluitnemers by die toekenning van skaars navorsingsfondse, asook by bedinging om privaatsektor fondse.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/51261
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