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Nagoya University (2013)

Access to Seed and Variety Adoption of Farmers in Ethiopia : A Case of Open Pollinated Maize in Drought-Prone Central Rift Valley

ABDI, Bedru Beshir

Titre : Access to Seed and Variety Adoption of Farmers in Ethiopia : A Case of Open Pollinated Maize in Drought-Prone Central Rift Valley

Auteur : ABDI, Bedru Beshir

Université de soutenance : Nagoya University

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy in International Development 2013


This dissertation is organized into seven chapters. While the present chapter has highlighted the background of Ethiopia’s seed issues, objectives and the research questions. Chapter 2 describes agro-ecology of the CRV of Ethiopia including its related crop production constraints. The chapter point out how drought-prone area crop production is highly uncertain to plan before the planting time due to its erratic rainfall. Similarly, the chapter draws attention to getting access to appropriate types of maize varieties that can respond to the existing conditions to mitigate the major challenges of drought facing maize production. Likewise, this chapter presents the methodology pursued in collecting and analyzing data. A range of data collection methods including farm household survey, seed sample and case studies were employed while descriptive statistics and the Logit Model were used for the data analysis. The specific methodologies utilized are highlighted in each chapter prior to presenting results.
Chapter 3 explores and highlights major literature about the subject mainly dealing with seed access and seed sources, adoption of improved varieties and participatory research under the area of the broader seed system. Following Chapter 3, the subsequent three chapters bring in field study results and their discussions.
Chapter 4 through 6 strives to answer the research questions presented under the dissertation objectives. That is the ongoing agricultural development issue of numerous developing countries including Ethiopia’s access to seed and improved variety adoption. In Chapter 4 and 5, the analysis was made by considering seed access and improved variety adoption decision. Farmers with better access to the source seed are expected to have higher chance of adoption. Access to seed can be enhanced by improving local availability of improved seed that would usually be limited in drought-prone areas. Chapter 6 approaches the analysis from farmer point of view in improved seed supply.
Chapter 4 discusses farmers’ seed access behavior to OPV maize in the CRV of Ethiopia. Farmers access seed from four major sources : their own harvest, another farmer, informal seed markets (ISM) and formal source. Dynamicity in the maize seed system has been observed which goes beyond the farmers’ own harvest or formal sources where farmers approach different seed sources including ISM for different objectives such as obtaining new variety. This chapter also presents quality analysis results for the seed obtained from informal sources, an aspect usually overlooked in similar studies beyond simple claims that seeds from informal sources are poor quality. The chapter further presents comparative summary of formal and informal seed sources of maize referring to drought-prone areas of CRV of Ethiopian which can be applicable to other countries with similar agro-ecologic and socio economic conditions in SSA and elsewhere.
Chapter 5 analyzes the factors affecting adoption of improved OPV of maize. A number of factors influencing adoption of improved OPV of maize were taken into account based on literature of adoption studies and local context. In this study, new factors and other factors not commonly covered in previous literature are included in a modified form. For instance, factors that were not captured in the previous studies like farmer participatory research in this case farmer research group (FRG) and drought encounter frequencies were included in this study due to its importance in the study area and in numerous SSA. Chapter 6 addresses the contribution of farmer-group based seed production and dissemination taking the case of FRG in OPV of maize seed production and distribution. FRG-based seed production and dissemination can be one feasible approach for seed provision to farmers in drought-prone areas. Seed provision of improved varieties in drought-prone areas has been an ongoing agricultural development issue. The availability of improved variety seed will enhance farmers’ access to the seed and a new variety adoption. The issue of creating sustainable linkages between research and farmers in the development of such local seed production to local business needs to be considered to make a plausible statement about sustainable seed production. Furthermore, to what extent the client farmers appreciate the FRG, the appropriate number of FRG member for significant impact, and the communication strategy and essential characteristics of FRG in enhancing improved variety adoption remain to be dealt with in further studies. Chapter 7 provides the main findings and draws implications for policy recommendations.

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