Putting the poorest farmers in control of disseminating improved wheat seed: a strategy to accelerate technology adoption and alleviate poverty in Bangladesh uri icon

abstract

  • This paper reports on a 'bottom-up' system of wheat seed technology transfer that was piloted in northwest Bangladesh with 45 mainly marginal (food insecure) farming families during the 2004-2005 wheat season, then scaled out to a further 545 mainly marginal, farming families during the 2006-2007 season. The system was devised following a survey which indicated that such farmers can obtain a 52% increase in wheat grain yield and extra income by switching from the old Kanchan variety to the newer, heat and disease-tolerant Shatabdi variety. The bottom-up wheat seed dissemination system involved the creation of an enabling environment which allowed poor and ultra-poor farmers to store and sell selected seed of recently-released wheat varieties that they produced in 20 decimal (0.08 ha) plots. During the pilot phase of the project in 2005, farmers produced 7, 976 kg of grain and more than 50% of this was selected as high quality seed, stored during the monsoon season and marketed to other farmers just prior to the following wheat season. This seed was sold at Tk25-30/kg and realised profits averaging Tk3,002 ((sic)38.49; exchange rate was 78: 1 in October 2005) per household. In 2007, the seed price had risen to Tk33-50/kg and a larger group of farmers produced, stored and marketed 168,800 kg of high quality wheat seed, which realised profits averaging Tk5,080, equivalent to (sic)51 (exchange rate was 99.6: 1 in October 2007), per household. This bottom up seed production and dissemination system met the wheat seed requirements of more than 1,400 neighbouring farmers in areas with a deficit of wheat seed for planting, and enabled poor and ultra-poor farmers to earn more than 50% of the income they needed to cross the local poverty line.
  • This paper reports on a ?bottom-up? system of wheat seed technology transfer that was piloted in north?west Bangladesh with 45 mainly marginal (food insecure) farming families during the 2004?2005 wheat season, then scaled out to a further 545 mainly marginal, farming families during the 2006?2007 season. The system was devised following a survey which indicated that such farmers can obtain a 52% increase in wheat grain yield and extra income by switching from the old Kanchan variety to the newer, heat and disease-tolerant Shatabdi variety. The bottom-up wheat seed dissemination system involved the creation of an enabling environment which allowed poor and ultra-poor farmers to store and sell selected seed of recently-released wheat varieties that they produced in 20 decimal (0.08 ha) plots. During the pilot phase of the project in 2005, farmers produced 7, 976 kg of grain and more than 50% of this was selected as high quality seed, stored during the monsoon season and marketed to other farmers just prior to the following wheat season. This seed was sold at Tk25?30/kg and realised profits averaging Tk3,002 (?38.49; exchange rate was 78:1 in October 2005) per household. In 2007, the seed price had risen to Tk33?50/kg and a larger group of farmers produced, stored and marketed 168,800 kg of high quality wheat seed, which realised profits averaging Tk5,080, equivalent to ?51 (exchange rate was 99.6:1 in October 2007), per household. This bottom up seed production and dissemination system met the wheat seed requirements of more than 1,400 neighbouring farmers in areas with a deficit of wheat seed for planting, and enabled poor and ultra-poor farmers to earn more than 50% of the income they needed to cross the local poverty line

publication date

  • 2009
  • 2009
  • 2009