Farmers' wheat seed sources and seed management in the Enebssie area, Ethiopia uri icon


  • This study in Enebssie area, Ethiopia, aimed to identify farmers' wheat seed acquisition and transfer mechanisms; explore problems related to those mechanisms; document the status of previously released wheat varieties; and describe the seed system in Ethiopia. Multistage stratified sampling was used to select 200 farmers for formal interviews. Descriptive statistics and a logic model were used to analyze the resulting data. Important factors influencing farmer's awareness of new wheat varieties included agroecological zone, access to credit, contact with information sources such as extension, and membership in an organization. The adoption of improved wheat varieties was significantly influenced by cultivated area, contact with information sources, membership in an organization, number of oxen owned, and farming experience. The research system must release wheat varieties more rapidly, as the disease resistance of some recent releases have deteriorated. To be successful, research must be supported by greater development of the seed industry. The weighted average age of wheat varieties in the Enebssie area in 1997 was 11 years, reflecting a poorly developed seed industry and infective extension services. Most farmers used recycle seed, and most obtained seed from other farmers rather that through formal channels. The extension system should strengthen its advisory role to farmers, especially on how to produce and preserve replacement seed, and should inform farmers about the characteristics of their varieties and their correct adaptation zones. More effort should be directed towards farmers in the highlands because of their limited access to information. The formal credit system needs to be strengthened and made appropriate for small farmers. Another positive step would be to review the stringent mechanism for releasing varieties. Policies and an institutional and legal framework should be developed to link the formal and informal seed sectors to function in a complementary way

publication date

  • 1998