Seed Availability, an Ignored Factor in Crop Varietal Adoption Studies: A Case Study of Beans in Tanzania uri icon

abstract

  • Few studies on the adoption of new crop varieties report on the implications of seed availability for the adoption of modem crop varieties, both in terms of the decision to try a new variety and to continue growing it season after season. By exploring the low adoption of a modern bean variety in 1998 in Bukoba District, Tanzania, this paper examines the importance of seed availability for the adoption of new crop varieties. The findings suggest that two factors accounted for low adoption of Lyamungu 90 variety at the time of the study: farmers' limited access to seed coupled with a failure to promote the variety, and low and fluctuating market demand which was partly caused by scattered seed distribution. The paper shows that failure to consider seed availability as an adoption constraint may lead to the erroneous conclusion that farmers reject new varieties solely on the merit of their characteristics and performance. Seed dissemination strategies aimed at small, resource poor farmers should resupply seed over several seasons until new varieties become fully established in local seed networks and markets. (C) 2002 by The Haworth Press, Inc, All rights reserved.

publication date

  • 2002
  • 2002