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An international development organization, in response to a vitamin A deficiency among people in the impoverished nation of Tagus, has engineered a new breed of millet high in vitamin A. While seeds for this new type of millet cost more, farmers will be paid subsidies for farming the new variety of millet. Since millet is already a staple food in Tagus, people will readily adopt the new variety. To combat vitamin A deficiency, the government of Tagus should do everything it can to promote this new type of millet.
Write a response in which you discuss what questions would need to be answered to decide whether the recommendation is likely to have the predicted result. Be sure to explain how the answers to these questions would help to evaluate the recommendation.
For the government of Tagus to combat vitamin A deficiency in its population the use of a new genetically engineered millet seed that is rich in vitamin A is a viable option. For the desired results, however, there are many questions that need to be answered before the government of Tagus readily adopts the solution that the international development organization has put forth. To determine the further viability of this route a detailed study on the crop yield, ease of farming, effects on the economy, and alternative methods should be explored.
The switch to a higher vitamin A millet breed is a good idea but unless there is a study done on the crop yield and the ease of farming it is done there could potentially be big problems if Tagus were to fully endorse the switch from regular millet. Often with genetically engineered crops, the overall crop yield is lower and if that holds true for this millet breed there could be countrywide shortages of the staple grain of the population. Additionally, if the millet seed is harder for farmers to grow or requires any sort of additional infrastructure the benefits could be potentially outweighed by the hardships with which the farmers experience.
In addition to a comprehensive study on the crop yields and farming practices of taking on the new crop, the government of Tagus would be wise to make a plan to ensure the complete turn over to the new millet breed to prevent a situation in which the new seed is competing against the regular, cheaper to produce grain. Based on basic economics the regular seed would be cheaper than the new seed because the input costs are lower as well as the opportunity costs. Even with government subsidies for the farmers to help pay for the more expensive source seed the government would also need to ensure that new input costs to producing the seed are not reflected in the market price of it. This may require additional market subsidies and organizational costs to make the millet a financially viable alternative to the population that is readily adopted.
The promotion of the new millet by the government will also have unforeseen costs and a PR campaign would need to be undertaken to promote the new grain. The cost of such a PR campaign should be made aware to the government and whether they will need to fund the program themselves or if the international development organization will also contribute. This information would be beneficial in figuring the overall costs of adopting the new seed.
Finally, the government of Tagus should conduct a comprehensive study of any alternatives to reducing vitamin A deficiency in its population. Although the new millet breed is certainly promising there may be other ways to increase the vitamin A intake that could be potentially cheaper and all-encompassing. Without this information, the government is simply making a decision with a lack of pertinent information.
Before 'doing everything it can to promote this new type of millet', the responsible decision to exercise increased information gathering would undoubtedly benefit the population and the government. By increasing the information that the government is working through these series of studies will allow it to make a more educated and impactful decision before rushing into a campaign that could have potentially disastrous effects.