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Maize seed systems in different agro-ecosystems; what works and what does not work for smallholder farmers

  • Maize is a food field crop with a highly developed formal seed sector. The study reported here, involving 4 case studies in Malawi, Zambia, the state of Chiapas in Mexico and the state of Bihar in India, indicates that smallholder farmers are increasingly purchasing seed from the formal maize seed system in these different parts of the world. Points of sale vary from seed agent and agro-dealer to the local rural market. Many farmers are growing hybrid varieties, although, in particular, under conditions where higher yields justify seed costs, and with the objective of maize grain sales rather than home consumption, for which traditional varieties continue to be grown. While the findings indicate well-functioning seed value chains in the areas of study, producer surveys and seed value chain analysis also pointed to significant weak links in the formal maize seed systems that need to be improved, such as certification and seed quality control at point of sale, and the availability of financial services to support investments by farmers in quality seed and in seed entrepreneurship.

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Document Type:Article
Author:J. Coosje Hoogendoorn, Genevieve Audet-Bélanger, Christian Böber, M. Laura Donnet, Kennedy Bisani Lweya, R. K. Malik, Peter R. Gildemacher
Parent Title (English):Food Sec. (Food Security)
First Page:1089
Last Page:1103
Publisher:Springer Netherlands
Date of first publication:2018/07/28
Tag:Bihar; Chiapas; Hybrids; IOPVs; Local varieties; Malawi; Seed access; Seed quality; Zambia
Departments, institutes and facilities:Internationales Zentrum für Nachhaltige Entwicklung (IZNE)
Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC):3 Sozialwissenschaften / 30 Sozialwissenschaften, Soziologie / 303 Gesellschaftliche Prozesse
6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 63 Landwirtschaft / 630 Landwirtschaft und verwandte Bereiche
Entry in this database:2018/08/10