Estimated Adoption and Economic Impact of Trichoderma koningii in the Philippines
This study summarizes evidence of adoption and outcomes using the fungi Trichoderma koningii in highland agriculture in the Philippines and estimates the economic rate of returns to T. koningii R&D. Adoption rates were estimated from sales data of T. koningii pure culture and net incremental changes based on reviewed field experiments in the Cordillera Region, Philippines, and partial budget analysis based on farmer interviews. Findings showed that T. koningii is being used mostly by organic and good agricultural practice producers as biofungicide for disease management and as soil nutrient and compost enhancer. T. koningii pure culture annual growth rate of sales was at 30%, and overall adoption rate in Benguet in 2018 was estimated at 0.4% of total farm area. Identified constraints to adoption are high price, misconception that Trichoderma is for organic farmers only, slow effect of the technology, limited information, and limited market outlets and marketing strategies. The estimated change in yield due to the use of T. koningii ranged from 10% to 50% based on farmer interviews and 4% to 92% based on field experiments on various crops and uses. The net present value assuming a 10% real social discount rate is PhP 4.29 million (USD 8.3 M), and the rate of returns for the Philippine government investing resources in T. koningii development and promotion is estimated at 49% considering a ten-year period. Assuming the lowest estimate of net benefit at PhP 28,528 ha–1 (USD 544 ha–1) and twenty years duration, the internal rate of return is 13%. The study contributes support to policy of continued government funding for effective biological control R&D.