An economic evaluation of Artemesia annua production
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Artemisinin, a derivative of the plant Artemesia annua, is the key compound used in producing medicines for drug-resistant malaria. Mostly grown by small farmers in East Asia and East Africa, there exists a lack of high-yielding genotypes in the artemesia market. Following successful research at the University of Georgia to produce improved varieties of artemesia, an economic evaluation of producing these varieties was performed. An enterprise budget was created for this analysis and fixed and variable costs were accounted for based on reasonable assumptions. Prices and yields were varied at pessimistic, average, and optimistic levels. Costs, prices, and yields were calculated into a sensitivity analysis to estimate net present values for a five acre farm operated for three years. Average price and average yield show a net present value of $129,416 over three years, signaling artemesia to be an economically viable crop in Georgia and likely across the Southern U.S.